Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 5.3 percent in November

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in November, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.2 percent in October. The rate in November 2015 was 5.5 percent.

“For the third consecutive month, strong growth in our state’s labor force caused a slight increase in our unemployment rate,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “However, in those same three months, we’ve seen more than 56,000 people become employed.”

In November, Georgia’s labor force increased by 21,761 to 4,971,311. The labor force consists of people who are employed and those actively searching for jobs. The number of employed rose by 15,697 to 4,707,213, while the number of unemployed also increased by 6,064 to 264,098. The labor force has increased by 186,888 since the first of the year.

In addition to a growing labor force, the state’s labor participation rate climbed to 62.7 percent in November, its highest point in more than three years. The participation rate is the percentage of the state’s population 16 years of age or older who are in the labor force. The nation’s labor participation rate has declined for the last two months to 62.7 percent. This is the first time in four years that Georgia’s labor participation rate has equaled the nation’s.

The number of jobs increased by 9,900, or 0.2 percent, to 4,422,900 in November. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, 8,200; manufacturing, 3,000; education and health services, 2,200; government, 1,800; and construction, 1,400. The job gains were offset somewhat by losses in trade, transportation and warehousing, 4,600, and information services, 1,400.

“Our over-the-year job growth continues to look good, as we have gained 98,700 jobs since November of last year,” Butler said. “That represents a 2.3 percent growth rate, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 1.6 percent.”

Most of the job gains in Georgia came in professional and business services, 31,600; administrative and support services, 18,900; leisure and hospitality, 17,500; trade, transportation and warehousing, 14,700; education and health services, 11,800; government, 10,200; construction, 9,100; financial activities, 5,400; and manufacturing, 2,300. Services such as repair and maintenance lost 2,500 jobs, while information services lost 1,100.

In November, 62,905 jobs were posted statewide on Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 1,921, or 6.5 percent, to 27,434 in November. Most of the decline was in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 6,339, or 18.8 percent, in November 2015 with manufacturing and construction accounting for most of the decline.

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