Metro Athens’ Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.2% in June

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Metro Athens’ unemployment rate in June was 5.2 percent, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 4.5 percent in May. In June 2016, the rate was 5.8 percent.

The rate rose as there were increases in the labor force, number of unemployed residents and new layoffs as measured by initial claims for unemployment insurance.

The labor force increased, partially because high school and college students entered the job market. From May to June, the labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, increased by 1,049 to 100,126. Compared to June a year ago, the labor force had a net increase of 2,523.

The number of unemployed residents increased by 816 to 5,243, but there were still 377 fewer unemployed than in June 2016

Although the rate rose, there were still 233 more Metro Athens residents employed in June than in May, pushing the total number to 94,883. The increase in the number of employed residents in June grew by 2,900 from June 2016.

The number of initial claims increased by 97, or 27.6 percent, to 449. The number of claims over the year is up by six, or 1.4 percent from 443 in June 2016.

The number of jobs in Metro Athens increased by 400, or 0.4 percent, to 96,300. The job growth came in state government, leisure and hospitality and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction. 

Over-the-year, a total of 2,300 jobs were added, a 2.5 percent growth rate, up from 94,000 in June 2016. Most of the job growth came in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and trade, transportation and warehousing. 

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.3 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for June was 4.8 percent, down from 4.9 percent in May. It was 5.3 percent in June 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In June, 1,332 new job openings in Athens were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 71,261 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at