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Georgia unemployment rate again falls to new all-time low
Georgia DOL

ATLANTA — Georgia's unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 2.8% in November, the first time it's dipped below 3% since current records began in 1976.

A record number of individuals reported having a job in Georgia in November — more than 5 million. The previous high came in January 2020.

It's the second month in a row that the state's jobless level hit an-all-time low as the state's economy continues to roar back from the pandemic, after dipping to 3.1% in October.

Georgia's jobless rate has fallen for 19 months since hitting an all-time high of 12.5% at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. A year ago, the state had 5.6% unemployment.

The number of unemployed Georgians fell to about 146,000 in November as more people found jobs. The labor force remained stagnant again, continuing a trend since April of few new people entering the labor force to look for jobs despite high labor demand.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, an elected Republican, declared Georgia's job market "fully recovered" from the pandemic.

"We have regained almost all of the jobs we lost during the pandemic; however, the number of job seekers is still below pre-pandemic numbers," Butler said in a statement. "Creating more jobs becomes very difficult if we can't fill vacancies in the 300,000 jobs that are currently open. 

Employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — rose by 13,000 in Georgia in November, reaching 4.62 million. That's 193,000 above payroll levels last year.

Payrolls remain 1% below their pre-pandemic peak according to the employer survey, which is separate from the survey of individuals and sometimes records different results. 

The nationwide jobless rate fell to 4.2% in November from 4.6% in September.

The Georgia Department of Labor released the job figures Thursday. They were adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

Fewer than 4,000 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week ended Dec. 11. New unemployment filings have fallen to pre-pandemic levels in the state.

The overall number of people collecting regular state unemployment was about 29,000 in the week ended Dec. 4. That number is nearing pre-pandemic levels.

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