Metro Atlanta’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.9% in June

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate in June was 4.9 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 4.5 percent in May. In June 2016, the rate was 5.3 percent.

The rate rose as the labor force grew, partially because high school and college students entered the job market, which led to an increase in the number of unemployed residents. From May to June, the labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, increased by 16,863 to 3,037,341. Compared to June a year ago, the labor force had a net increase of 105,527.

The number of unemployed increased by 10,351 to 147,644. There were 8,184 fewer unemployed than in June 2016.

Although the rate rose, there were still 6,512 more Metro Atlanta residents employed in June than in May, pushing the total number to 2,889,697. The increase in the number of employed residents in June grew by 113,711 from June 2016.

The number of jobs in Metro Atlanta increased by 14,100, or 0.5 percent, to 2,759,800. The average May-to-June increase for the previous three years was 1,300. The job growth came in professional and business services, 8,800; leisure and hospitality, 7,300; other services, 3,100; financial activities, 1,700; and manufacturing, 600. Job losses came in government, 3,400; education and health services, 2,900; construction, 500; and information services and trade, transportation and warehousing, 300 each.

Over-the-year, a total of 94,100 jobs were added, a 3.5 percent growth rate, up from 2,665,700 in June 2016. Job growth came across the board in all major employment sectors: professional and business services, 34,700; leisure and hospitality, 13,800; education and health services, 11,200; trade, transportation and warehousing, 9,500; financial activities, 8,400; construction, 6,000; information services, 3,800; government, 3,500; other services, 2,300; and manufacturing, 800. 

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, increased by two to 13,224.   The increase came in accommodations and food services. Over the year, claims were down by 401, or 2.9 percent, from 13,625 in June 2016.

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, 49,639 new job openings in Atlanta 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