ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.4 percent, its lowest level since July 2008 when it was 6.3 percent. The rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 6.6 percent in December. The rate in January 2014 was 7.3 percent.
“Our unemployment rate dropped for the seventh month in a row as we had 4,400 fewer jobs available than in December,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We also had fewer new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, which is a measure of new layoffs.”
The number of seasonally-adjusted jobs in January declined 0.1 percent, to 4,222,100, down from 4,226,500 in December. Much of the loss was related to temporary holiday jobs. Most of the job losses came in administrative and support services, including temporary employment agencies, 5,000; retail trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with construction, 2,800 each; and information services, 2,200. The job gains were in manufacturing, 3,900; wholesale trade, 3,400; finance and insurance, 2,700; and health care and social assistance, 1,900.
“But, while we lost those seasonal jobs in January, as often do, we had the strongest January-to-January growth we’ve had in 20 years,” said Butler. “And, six of our job sectors grew at least three percent.”
Over the year, the state gained a seasonally-adjusted 131,900 jobs, or 3.2 percent, from 4,090,200 in January 2014. Ninety-five percent of the job growth, or 125,800 jobs, was in the private sector. Most of the gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 33,500; professional and business services, 24,900; leisure and hospitality, 22,300; education and health services, 17,600; and manufacturing, 13,100; and, financial activities, 7,000.
Also, in January, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined to 57,194, down by 316, or 0.5 percent, from 57,510 in December. Most of the decrease came in accommodations and food services. And, claims were down by 897, or 1.5 percent, from 58,091 in January 2014. The over-the-year decline came in a wide range of industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, and the construction industry.