Jobs: 800 more jobs here in May vs. same month last year. But: First-time jobs claims also rise.

Jobs: 800 more jobs here in May vs. same month last year. But: First-time jobs claims also rise.

Local labor force: The good news is the number of people working in Rome/Floyd jumped 800 jobs compared to May 2017. That’s 100 more people working than in April of this year. May marked the second time this year the labor force has hit 41,600 people.

First-time jobless claims: Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Chattooga see increases; Polk falls.

Floyd, 251 claims: Up from April but down from a year earlier.

Bartow, 312: Up from April and from May 2017.

Gordon, 150. Up from April; no charge from May 2017.

Polk, 82: Down from April, down from May of last year.

Chattooga, 29: Up from the previous month and same time a year ago.

The state picture:

Media release:  Georgia once again set records for employed residents, labor force and jobs for May, continuing a trend from previous months, says Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

The state is approaching the 5-million mark for employed residents. At the same time, Georgia posted more than 4.5 million jobs and a labor force of more than 5.1 million.

The jobless rate, meanwhile, dropped by .1 percent.

“Georgia continues to prove that it is a great place for both employees and employers,” Butler said. “As employers bring more jobs to the state, our labor force is ready and able to fill those jobs.”

In May, Georgia counted 4.93 million employed residents. That number was up by 13,552 over the month and by more than 123,000 since last May. Georgia averaged adding 10,250 a month over the past year.

Likewise, Georgia’s labor force continued to climb, increasing by 6,793 in May to about 5.1 million. It grew by 96,632 over the last 12 months – an average gain of about 8,000.

Butler said both numbers continue trends going back many months.

“The fact that we are seeing these records month after month shows the continuing strength of Georgia’s economy,” said Butler. “In fact, Georgia was recently ranked us as the ninth top-performing economy in the nation.”

Georgia’s April unemployment rate came in at 4.2 percent, the lowest number since August 2001. This is down from 4.3 percent last month and 4.8 percent a year ago.

Jobs were also up by 6,800 in May to 4.5 million. That’s a little better than Georgia’s average over the last year, at just under 6,400 jobs a month.

Over the past 12 months, Georgia added 76,700 jobs.

Most of those job gains came in the trade, transportation, and utilities and leisure and hospitality industries, with both setting all-time highs for jobs within the industry.

Over the past year, Georgia has added more than 10,000 jobs in each of the following sectors: education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and construction. Construction in particular has seen an impressive 8.4 percent increase over the last year.

“I’m really encouraged by where we are seeing job growth,” Butler added. “Growth in trade, transportation, and utilities; construction; and manufacturing points to the fact that our economy is thriving.”

The number of unemployment claims filed in May was up almost 5 percent. However, they still remain down by nearly 10 percent over the last year.

There were 76,834 jobs posted on employgeorgia.com during May, up 31 percent over the month. Of those jobs, 36 percent were for STEM occupations.

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