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Georgia ends record employment year on a high note

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(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ATLANTA, Ga – 2019 was another banner year for Georgia with increases in jobs, work force and employed residents, according to State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

The year-end numbers in all three categories were record highs. The December unemployment rate was another record low for the Peach State.

“Georgia closed out 2019 on a very high note. We set records right across the board on all the major indicators. It’s kind of hard to have any better year than Georgia had,” Butler said.

The unemployment rate settled at 3.2% as 2019 came to a close. That’s down from 3.7% a year ago. Georgia has now set a new record low two months in a row after first tying the previous record set in October.

Georgia ended the year for total number of jobs at 4.65 million. The state added just under 70,000 over the past 12 months.

“Georgia’s done a great job bringing in new business and helping our local businesses around the state grow jobs,” Butler said.

Some job sectors were particularly strong in 2019, the commissioner noted.

  • Education, health services – 25,400
  • Leisure, hospitality – 16,600
  • Trade, transportation, utilities – 10,400.

Georgia’s labor force continued to grow but struggled to keep pace with job creation and employment numbers.

“We do need our labor force to expand at a faster pace,” Butler said.

The labor force grew by just under 18,000 over the past 12 months to reach 5.13 million.

Unemployment claims also went down in 2019. There were 291,962 unemployment claims filed in 2019 – down 6% from the number filed in 2018. For the month, claims rose about 78%.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service showed 97,892 new active job postings in Georgia at year’s end. That’s nearly 20,000 more than a year ago.