The GDOL Celebrates First 100 Days Under New Leadership While Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

Staff Report

Friday, April 21st, 2023

Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson celebrates 100 days in office on April 22, 2023. During this time, the commissioner's administration has been laser-focused on the modernization of the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL). Top achievements over the last 100 days include:

  • Working toward modernizing the GDOL's UI system and operations, which will expedite claims and reduce fraud.

  • Increasing the GDOL's base budget by 32 percent, receiving special project awards of over $3 million and bond awards of $2 million to help with GDOL operations.

  • Breaking down siloes and promoting open communication internally while connecting externally with over 120 statewide organizations/counties.

  • Transitioning data to a cloud-based system that promotes security and the advancement of the latest technology within the department.

"Stabilizing the agency, creating confidence, and charting a secure path forward is my No. 1 priority for the Georgia Department of Labor, and we are well on our way toward accomplishing this goal," said Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson. "With consistently low unemployment and jobs at an all-time high, the GDOL is well-positioned to help Georgians during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives."

Commissioner Thompson also announced today that Georgia's March unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, unchanged from a revised 3.1 percent in February. The unemployment rate held at 3.1 percent for eight consecutive months and was four-tenths lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. In February, Georgia had the highest labor force participation rate in the southeast, 61.1 percent, and the highest employment-to-population ratio in the region, 59.2 percent.

Jobs were up by 7,600 (0.2%) over the month and up by 133,400 (2.8%) over the year to 4,885,400, an all-time high.

Job numbers were at an all-time high in Private Education and Health Services, 653,400, and in Leisure and Hospitality, 515,700.

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Accommodation and Food Services, 4,300; Health Care and Social Assistance, 3,000; State Government, 900; Retail Trade, 800; Management of Companies and Enterprises, 700; Transportation and Warehousing, 700; and Local Government, 700. Jobs were down in Administrative and Support Services, -2,300, and Finance and Insurance, -1,000.

The sectors with the most over-the-year job gains included Accommodation and Food Services, 32,900; Health Care and Social Assistance, 30,200; Local Government, 11,400; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, 8,300; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 7,300; Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing, 5,600; Private Education Services, 5,500; and Specialty Trade Contractors, 5,000.

Georgia's labor force increased for the sixth consecutive month by 12,872 to 5,261,296, the most significant one-month increase since January 2022 – the labor force participation rate held at 61.1 percent.

For the fifth consecutive month, the number of employed was up by 10,796 to 5,096,323, the most significant one-month increase since March 2022.

In March, over 125,000 job listings were online for Georgians to access. The top five employers included Wellstar Health System, 3,200; Walmart, 1,100; University of Georgia, 900; Piedmont Healthcare, 900; and Emory University, 700.

The top five industries included Health Care, 28,000; Accommodation and Food Services, 11,700; Retail Trade, 11,300; Manufacturing, 9,300; and Finance and Insurance, 7,000.

The top five occupations included Health Care (including Nursing), 27,400; Hospitality, Food, and Tourism, 13,500; Sales, 13,500; Business Management and Operations, 10,200; and Information Technology, 8,900.

Initial claims were down 949 (-4%) from February to 22,106 in March. Over the year, initial claims were up 3,024 (16%).