ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 7.2 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 6.9 percent in April. The preliminary rate for April was 7.0 percent, but it was revised down one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate in May of last year was 8.4 percent.
“This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “In fact, we haven’t had a rate decrease in May since 1999. This time of year, we have new jobseekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs.”
The labor force increased by 14,078 up to 4,780,952 in May from 4,766,874 in April. This was the fifth consecutive month the labor force has increased.
“Employers added 21,400 jobs in May, contributing to the 80,200 jobs we have created over the past year,” Butler said. “We are proud that Georgia continues to be a leader in over-the-year growth. During the past 12 months, Georgia has ranked fifth or sixth in over-the-year job creation in the nation.”
The number of jobs increased to 4,125,100 in May, up five-tenths of a percentage point, from 4,103,700 in April. The increase is significantly larger than the 13,000 average gain between April and May over the past three years. Most of the May job gains came in professional and business services, 10,400; leisure and hospitality, 6,400; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 3,880; financial services, 1,800; and construction, 1,400. Government lost 1,900 jobs.
The over-the-year job growth is the largest May-to-May increase since 2006. The job growth was up 2.0 percent, from 4,044,900 in May 2013. The job gainers were in professional and business services, 27,300; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 20,800; leisure and hospitality, 18,700; construction, 6,600; education and health services, 6,200; manufacturing, 4,300; and financial services, 3,600. Government lost 7,700 jobs.
There were 33,191 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, a decrease of 370, or 1.1 percent, from 33,561 in April. Most of the decrease in claims came in manufacturing.
Over the year, initial claims were down by 29.2 percent. There were 13,691 fewer claims filed than the 46,882 in May 2013. Most of the decline over the year came in manufacturing, 4,890; accommodations and food services, 1,691; administrative and support services, 1,073, and construction, 917.