Business: Closer look shows May was a record employment month in region; Polk sees lowest jobless rate ever.

Business: Closer look shows May was a record employment month in region; Polk sees lowest jobless rate ever.

The Georgia Department of Labor has posted additional updates on the local employment scene, each with more details from Bartow, Gordon and Polk counties. Some of the highlights include record-high regional employment for our area; Bartow County being home to nearly 49,000 jobs; a record low jobless rate in Polk County; and job growth in Gordon County. 

By the numbers:

BARTOW COUNTY: Nearly 49,000 people now working in the community: Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Bartow County posted positive employment numbers in May. The number of employed residents in Bartow County grew to 48,921, an increase of 185 for the month and 1,533 for the year.   Bartow County ended May with a labor force of 50,621. That is an increase of 117 from the previous month and an increase of 978 over the last year.   At the same time, the jobless rate fell to 3.4 percent, a drop of .1 percent over the previous month. A year ago, the jobless rate was 4.5 percent. Initial claims for unemployment were up about 67 percent for the month and up about 26 percent for the year. Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 376 job postings in Bartow County for May.

POLK COUNTY: Record-low jobless rate in May. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Polk County posted a record low unemployment rate in May. In May, the jobless rate fell to 3.7 percent – an all-time low for Polk County. This was a drop of .2 percent over the previous month. A year ago, the jobless rate was 5.2 percent.  The number of employed residents in Polk County grew to 17,981. This is an increase of 37 for the month and 475 for the year.  Polk County ended May with a labor force of 18,664. That is a decrease of 11 from the previous month but an increase of 204 over the last year.   In the Polk County, initial claims for unemployment were down about 29 percent for the month and down over 21 percent for the year.

FLOYD COUNTY: Split decision. The countywide metropolitan statistical area saw an increase in initial claims for unemployment and a slight decrease in the labor force. The number of employed increased in May as Rome gained five employed residents. At 43,148 total employed residents, Rome is up by 1,401 for the year. Rome gained 100 jobs for the month, with total jobs settling at 41,600. This puts Rome up 800 jobs for the year. The May unemployment rate was down 0.2 percent from the previous month, falling to 3.6 percent. The unemployment rate was 5.0 percent a year ago. The labor force also saw a modest drop in May, down 64 for the month to 44,782 but up 836 for the year.

GORDON COUNTY: More jobs in May. The number of employed residents in Gordon County grew to 25,995, an increase of 144 for the month and 450 for the year.  Gordon County ended May with a labor force of 26,899. That is an increase of 88 from the previous month and 164 over the last year.   At the same time, the jobless rate fell to 3.4 percent, a drop of .2 percent over the previous month. A year ago, the jobless rate was 4.5 percent.  In the Gordon County, initial claims for unemployment were up about 19 percent for the month but remain flat for the year.

NORTHWEST GEORGIA: 15-county region sets record high for number of employed in May. The area also saw an increase in the size of the labor force and a decrease in the unemployment rate – both positive indicators. “Georgia’s economy remains very strong,” said Butler. “Across the board, the state’s numbers are very positive for the year and many areas continue to set records.” The number of employed residents in the region grew to 407,704 – an all-time high. This represents an increase of 747 for the month and an increase of 12,329 for the year. In May, the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region fell 0.2 percent to 3.4 percent, down from 4.6 percent a year ago. This is the third lowest unemployment rate of all 12 regions in the state. The rates vary from a low of 2.9 percent in the Georgia Mountains to 4.5 percent in the River Valley region. The Northwest Georgia labor force ended May at 422,234. That number is up 103 over the last month and up 7,958 over the last year.  In the Northwest Georgia region, initial claims for unemployment were up about 22 percent for the month but down about 16 percent for the year. The region includes Bartow, Chattooga, Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield.

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