NE Georgia unemployment rate falls in August; labor force declines

The NE Georgia region’s unemployment rate and unemployment claims fell again in August 2018 according to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. The commissioner announced Thursday that the Northeast Georgia region’s unemployment rate and claims both fell in August – the unemployment rate down .2 percent from July to 3.5 percent, ranking it second among 12 regional commissions. It was 4.6 percent in August 2017.

At the same time, the 12-county area, which includes Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties, saw its labor force and number of employed residents dip down. All major indicators, however, remain positive for the year, Butler said.

“Our communities across the state continue to thrive,” Butler said in a press release. “Local economies continue to add jobs and see other indicators like employment and labor force grow over time.  It has become almost routine for some of our local areas to set records.”

Butler said the labor force fell in August by 3,991 to reach 307,867 total members, but that number has climbed by 6,622 over the past 12 months for or an average gain of more than 550 per month.

The Northeast Georgia region lost 3,077 employed residents in August, pushing its total to 297,166. That number has grown by 9,882 over the past year, or an average monthly gain of about 823.

Initial claims for unemployment fell by about 27 percent for the month. They are down by about 31 percent when compared to last August. In Walton County, initial claims for August 2018 were 109, down from 141 in July 2018 and 157 in August 2017. However, the figures for Walton are likely to be impacted in October by the layoffs announced this week at the Monroe plant of Hitachi Automotive Systems of the Americas.

The Unemployment Rate for the state dropped again in August to 3.8 percent, down from 4.5 percent in August 2017. The consistent drop in the unemployment rate began in February of this year.

For those still looking for a job, Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at, showed 2,871 active job postings in the Northeast Georgia region for August.

Visit to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers.


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