ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 5.5 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.6 percent in November. The rate was 6.6 percent in December 2014. “The rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly seven years as our employers continued to create jobs and hire more people,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “While we saw a net increase of 3,300 jobs in December, our private sector employers actually added 6,000 jobs, but cuts, primarily in government, offset some of that gain.” The number of jobs increased in December to 4,317,600, up by 0.1 percent, from 4,314,300 in November. Much of the job growth came in professional and business services, 5,000; other services, 2,100; and construction, 1,900. Job losses came in government, financial activities, trade, transportation and warehousing and leisure and hospitality. Georgia continued to show solid job growth over the year. The number of jobs rose by 91,100, or 2.2 percent, compared to 1.9 percent for the U.S. growth rate. Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 27,300; trade, transportation and warehousing, 17,500; leisure and hospitality, 13,000; education and health services, 12,900; construction, 8,100; manufacturing, 6,800; government, 5,800; and financial activities, 2,200. While the number of jobs increased, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 14,136, or 41.9 percent, to 47,909 in December. Most of the rise was due to an increase in temporary claims filed in textile manufacturing and administrative and support services, which includes temporary employment agencies. However, over the year, the number of claims was down by 9,601, or 16.7 percent, from 57,510 filed in December 2014. The decrease came mostly in accommodations and food services, administrative and support services, manufacturing and construction. In December, the state’s labor force increased by 14,446 to 4,764,702. Butler continues to encourage job seekers and employers to use the GDOL’s online job listing service, EmployGeorgia.com, where 65,320 jobs throughout the state were posted in December.
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