Athens’ Unemployment Rate Drops in May

Staff Report

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Athens’ unemployment rate decreased in May. 

Due to the effects of COVID-19, all MSA’s continue to see stinted yearly growth, yet monthly gains in nearly all major sectors are beginning to spike.  

“The fact that almost every single monthly indicator in May’s job market report was positive shows great promise to Georgia’s economy up ahead,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “Seeing these monthly numbers begin to increase means that we are definitely heading back in the right direction.”   

In Athens, the unemployment rate decreased 2.9 percentage points in May, reaching 8.2 percent. A year ago, the rate was 3.1 percent.  

Athens ended May with 91,000 jobs. That number increased by 3,200 from April to May but was down by 5,800 when compared to this time last year.

The labor force increased in May by 1,899 and ended the month with 95,758. That number is down 2,507 when compared to May of 2019. 

Athens finished the month with 87,899 employed residents.  That number increased by 4,492 over the month but is down by 7,298 when compared to the same time a year ago.  

The number of unemployment claims went down by 34 percent in May to 15,981. When compared to last May, claims were up by about 6,848 percent. 

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed about 1,497 active job postings in metro Athens for May.