December 20-- The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.5 percent in November, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in October. The rate was 9.5 percent in November a year ago.
“This is the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly four years, since it was 8.5 percent in January 2009,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Once again, the rate dropped because of continued job growth and fewer new layoffs.”
The number of jobs increased to 3,984,000, up by 9,600, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,974,400 in October. The monthly growth came mostly in trade, transportation, and warehousing, up 12,400; educational services, up 1,700; information services, up 1,600; local government, up 1,300; financial services, up 1,200; and manufacturing, up 600. The overall job growth was strong enough to offset some losses in some sectors. Construction was down 4,000; leisure and hospitality, down 2,700; professional and business services, down 2,100; and other services, down 1,100.
Over-the-year growth remains consistent, showing an increase of 61,900 jobs since November 2011. The growth was primarily in professional and business services, up 20,100; trade, transportation, and warehousing, up 15,800; manufacturing, up 12,200; education and health care, up 11,700; leisure and hospitality, up 6,800; and information services, up 5,000.
“I am encouraged by the continuing growth in the number of manufacturing jobs in Georgia,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “This is a result of focusing on a pro-business environment and working closely with Georgia employers to help them grow their businesses, while actively recruiting new industry to our state.”
The number of initial unemployment insurance claims declined to 47,351, down by 4,114, or 8.0 percent, from 51,495 in October. This is the lowest number of claims for November in seven years. And, the number of initial claims was down over the year, dropping by 10,222, or 17.8 percent, from 57,573 in November 2011. Most of the over-the-year decline came in manufacturing, construction, administrative and support services and trade.
The number of long-term unemployed workers declined to its lowest level in 32 months, dropping 4,100 from October to 202,600 in November. The long-term unemployed—those out of work for more than 26 weeks—make up 49.5 percent of those unemployed in Georgia.
Georgia’s labor force continues to grow, reaching 4,800,345 in November, its highest level since February 2009. The labor force was up by 7,101 from 4,793,244 in October. The state’s workforce totaled 4,735,411 in November 2011.