ATLANTA — Georgia employers are still adding workers to their payrolls, as new numbers show the pinch in Georgia's workforce was not as sharp as initially reported last year.
The unemployment rate was flat in January, but job numbers hit an all-time high, state Commissioner of Labor Bruce Thompson reported Thursday.
The jobless rate of 3.1% in January was the same as December, three-tenths of a percent lower than January’s national unemployment rate of 3.4%. But the number of jobs rose by almost 17,000 from December to a record 4.87 million. That’s 160,000 jobs above payroll levels last January.
“Georgia continues to lead the nation in job creation while outpacing the nation with low unemployment numbers,” Thompson said Thursday. “Employers are hiring at a record pace, affording hardworking Georgians with opportunities in nearly every sector.”
Job numbers reached all-time highs in the private education and health services sector as well as leisure and hospitality and financial activities.
The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included accommodation and food services; health care and social assistance; and arts, entertainment and recreation.
January’s unemployment numbers always bring a revision of the previous year’s figures, and the new figures show Georgia's jobless rate has been steady at 3.1% for six months. Joblessness is also level with the rate of January 2022, after dipping to an all-time low of 2.9% in April and May.
Unemployment is measured by a survey of individuals, separate from the payroll survey of employers.
Numbers last year had shown a meaningful decline in the labor force, but new figures show the labor force has been flat since April. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work was flat at 161,000.
The nationwide unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in January from 3.5% in January. That’s down from 4% a year ago.
About 5,200 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended March 4.
The overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 28,000 in the week that ended Feb. 25.