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State jobless rate rises to 5.5 percent
Butler Mark
Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor announced that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 5.5 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.4 percent in February. The rate was 6.2 percent in March 2015. 

“Even though the rate went up slightly, March was really a good month for Georgia’s labor market,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our employers created 12,600 jobs, which is much stronger than the average for the same period over the last three years, and they had fewer lay offs. Our labor force grew by 21,570, bringing the total growth this year to more than 55,000.” 

It was the additional labor force growth that caused the rate increase. While jobseekers are searching for work, they’re counted as unemployed. The number of unemployed in Georgia rose by 4,827. There were also 16,743 more Georgians employed in March. 

The number of jobs increased by 0.3 percent in March to 4,359,100, up from 4,346,500 in February. Over the previous three years, Georgia has gained an average of 9,600 jobs from February to March. Most of the increase came in construction, 4,300; education and health services, 4,100; government, 1,900, along with trade, transportation and warehousing and information services, 1,100 each. The overall job gains were somewhat offset by losses in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. 

Butler continued to encourage job seekers and employers to use the GDOL’s online job listing service, to search for jobs or recruit new employees.  In March, 78,986 jobs throughout the state were posted on Employ Georgia. The leading sectors for job postings were health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services and retail trade.