State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said this week that Hurricane Irma caused Georgia’s job numbers to fall and unemployment claims to rise in September.
Butler noted that the state lost about 500 jobs for the month. Similarly, Georgia also saw nearly 25,000 unemployment claims filed in September. That was a modest increase from the prior month and from September 2016. A 240 percent jump for the month in the coastal region drove the statewide numbers up slightly, the commissioner said.
“Even though the hurricane did have a negative effect on Georgia’s job and unemployment claims numbers, we still had a record month for employment and persons entering the workforce,” Butler said. “This shows the strength of Georgia’s economy and job market.”
Butler noted that even though September’s numbers were impacted by Hurricane Irma those changes were not enough to significantly affect the state’s strong performance over the past 12 months. Georgia added more than 84,000 new jobs during that time, Butler said.
Further, Butler said in September the state jobless rate continued to decline. He reported the September unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in August. It was last that low in June 2007. The monthly rate compares favorably to last September when the rate was 5.4 percent.
Butler added that employment among the state’s residents was up by 35,649 from August. That’s the largest single-month gain in at least 40 years. The labor force, which is the number of residents employed and those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose by 25,761, as the number of unemployed declined by 9,888.
“It continues to be a very good year for Georgia’s economy when you look at the whole picture,” Butler said.
With the monthly job loss, Georgia ended September with 4,497,200 total jobs. Jobs were up 1.9 percent from September 2016.
Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 28,200; leisure and hospitality, 19,200; education and health services, 14,600; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 10,400.
Statewide, unemployment claims were up by 3.6 percent to 24,666, due largely to temporary claims filed in manufacturing and accommodations and food services. Compared to September 2016, claims were up a modest 1.1 percent from 24,403.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 56,210 new active job postings in Georgia for September.
NOTE: Video and audio comments from Commissioner Butler are available for download. Copy the link below and enter into your browser, or open into a new window.
The video file can be found at Commissioner Mark Butler comments on SEPT2017 State Job Market Report.mp4
The audio file can be found at Commissioner Mark Butler comments on SEPT2017 State Job Market Report.mp3