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State jobless rate stays at 5.5 percent
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ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 5.5 percent, unchanged from March. The rate was 6.1 percent in April 2015. 

“We continue to see evidence that our job market is moving in the right direction, even though the unemployment rate remained steady,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our job growth is outpacing the nation as a whole, our labor force is showing strong growth and our employers are laying off fewer workers.”

All 14 metropolitan areas in the state added jobs, as Georgia gained 10,600 jobs to reach a total of 4,371,300 in April.  Georgia’s over-the month growth rate was .2 percent, compared to the nation’s .1 percent growth rate. Over the previous three years, Georgia has gained an average of 5,700 jobs from March to April. Most of the  increase came in professional and business services, 7,200; information services, 2,400; manufacturing, 1,800; other services, 1,300; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 1,100. The overall job gains were somewhat offset by losses in government, 1,600; education and health services, 1,500; and financial activities, 1,100. 

There was an over-the-year increase of 140,800 jobs, up by 3.3 percent from April 2015. The national job growth rate for the same period was 1.9 percent. The sectors in Georgia showing the largest increases were professional and business services, 40,000; trade, transportation and warehousing, 28,700; leisure and hospitality, 19,700; construction, 13,600; education and health services, 11,600; and manufacturing, 11,000. 

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 1,637, or 5.9 percent, to 26,345 in April. Most of the decline was due to a decrease in claims filed in manufacturing and construction, retail trade, accommodations and food services, and real estate, rental and leasing. Over the year, the number of claims declined by 1,394, or 5 percent, from 27,739 filed in April 2015. The decrease came mostly in construction. 

The labor force grew by 13,792 to 4,853,336 in April. It has grown by 68,319 since the beginning of this year.  

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service, to search for jobs or recruit new employees.  In April, 71,092 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, retail trade, accommodations and food services, and transportation and warehousing. 

To learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers, and to connect with the DOL on social media, visit