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Georgia posts record-breaking November

December 24, 2019–9:50 a.m.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Georgia’s unemployment rate hit a historic low in November even as the state set records for employment, jobs and workforce.

The series of records in November add up to one of the best months in state history, said Butler.

“I can’t recall us ever having a better month, and I’ve talked to people who’ve been around a lot longer than I have,” Butler said. “It’s nice to see this at the end of the year. I think we are going to continue to see Georgia move in the right direction.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell in November to 3.5 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points. The nation also grew its labor force by 40,000, increased employment by 83,000 and added more than 266,000 jobs.

Georgia’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell in November by 0.1 percentage points to 3.3 percent. That rate is the lowest since the federal government began keeping records in 1976.

With the record rate, Georgia’s number of unemployed residents fell to the lowest total in more than 18 years – a time when Georgia had about 1 million fewer people in its labor force.

Georgia added 6,500 jobs in November, pushing the total to 4.64 million jobs – a new record for the state. That number is up 69,000 from the same time last year.

In terms of monthly change, four sectors were up more than 2,000:

  • Trade/transportation/utilities, 3,200
  • Education/health services, 3,100
  • Other services, 2,300
  • Construction, 2,300.

The top job sectors in terms of annual growth were:

  • Education/health services, 25,600
  • Leisure/hospitality, 18,200
  • Trade/transportation/utilities, 9,100
  •  Construction, 7,200.

With all that job growth, Georgia also set records for the most jobs ever in leisure/hospitality, education/health, and financial activities.

In November, the number of employed residents climbed by 11,175 and pushed Georgia’s total employment to 4.96 million. That’s a new record for Georgia as well.

Georgia’s labor force also grew in November by 5,980, adding to a total workforce of more than 5.1 million. That number has grown by 34,391 over the year. The state has had several consecutive months of workforce growth after a down period.

The state’s workforce is also Georgia’s largest ever.

“We have seen the labor force start growing again,” Butler said, “but it’s still not where I want it to be. I’d like to see it grow even more. We need more individuals in the work force to take all the jobs we have open.”

At the same time, new claims for unemployment decreased in November by 18 percent from the previous month. They were down by about 33 percent as compared with November 2018.

In November, noted about 92,000 job postings.