Northwest Georgia grew its labor force and number of employed residents in February, says Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. The 12-county region also posted monthly gains in labor force in January. The unemployment rate fell in February.
“These early numbers look very solid,” Butler said. “We are seeing communities add workers and grow their labor force. It’s looking like we can expect a very productive year in terms of job creation and hiring.”
The unemployment rate inched up in early 2019. The rate climbed 0.8 percentage points in January but then fell by 0.4 percentage points in February, settling at 4.3 percent. A year ago, the rate was 4.4 percent. Nationally, the rate for February was 3.8 percent.
- The labor force grew in January by 1,864 and grew in February by another six. The February total was 421,901. That number is up by 104 from the total from February 2018.
- The Northwest region ended February with 403,798 employed residents. The number decreased by 1,687 in January and rose by 1,694 in February to gain seven over the two-month cycle.
- The number of unemployment claims fell in February by 60 percent and were up in January by 166 percent. When compared to last February, claims were up by 48 percent.
- In February, claims were down in manufacturing.
The Northwest Georgia region includes Bartow, Chattooga, Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield.
Bartow spotlight: Butler says all the annual numbers for Bartow County remained positive. The unemployment rate for January went up by 0.7 percentage points but went down in February by 0.7 percentage points, settling at 3.7 percent. A year ago, the rate was 4.2 percent.
The labor force in Bartow County fell by 257 in January and fell by an additional two over the month of February, bringing the total to 50,256. The number has grown by 49 when compared to the same month a year ago.
Bartow County lost 621 employed residents in January but gained 343 in February, bringing the total to 48,377. The number is up 274 for the year, or about 20 per month.
Claims for unemployment insurance were up by 341 percent in January but went down by about 81 percent in February. They were down by about 12 percent when compared to the same month a year ago.