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Initial unemployment claims down locally

April 19, 2018--10:45 a.m.

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

First-time unemployment claims in Floyd County fell by 105 from February to March and by 46 over the year.

Gordon County was also down by 62 over the month and 117 year-to-year.

Bartow was down by 61 from February to March, but up by 23 compared to March of last year.

Polk County had a strong showing, with 124 fewer first-time claims over the month and 94 fewer over the year.

However, Chattooga County saw a huge jump in initial claims with 570 in March, up from 20 in February and 63 in March of 2017.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Georgia continued to set records in March even as the number of jobs dipped slightly.

Butler noted that most of the March news was good: unemployment held steady, the labor force and number of Georgians with jobs set records and unemployment claims were down. The number of jobs in the state fell by 7,400 after averaging increasing by around 6,700 jobs a month throughout 2017.

“Although we did see a slight decline in the total number of jobs,” Butler said, “the good news is we saw over 14,000 Georgians gain employment.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent in March. Georgia’s rate remained at 4.4 percent. A year ago, Georgia’s unemployment rate sat at 5 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s number of residents with jobs reached an all-time high, just under 5 million. That number increased by nearly 15,000 last month and more than 125,000 over the past 12 months.

The state also set a record for labor force, the number of people employed and those seeking jobs, at 5.1 million. The number climbed by about 13,000 for the month and was up by nearly 100,000 over the past 12 months.

“The increasing labor force and the strong gains in employment continue to show the strength of Georgia’s job market,” Butler said.

The number of jobs in the Rome area increased from March 2017 to March this year by 300.  

Statewide, there were just 21,288 unemployment claims filed in March. That was down 4 percent when compared to last month and down about 15 percent from last March. In fact, the March number of claims was the lowest filed since May 1998.

Georgia’s job performance was similar to the nation’s. Job growth nationally was just .1 percent in March as compared to 1.5 percent for the year.

Georgia showed a modest job loss in hospitality, information, professional/business services, and manufacturing. Trade/transportation/utilities and education/health services both increased slightly. Even with the small loss last month, the March 2018 number was up by 65,200 over a year ago.