Georgia’s October Unemployment Rate Drops in All MSAs and Regions and Counties

Staff Report

Monday, November 30th, 2020

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that October’s unemployment rates dropped for all metropolitan service areas (MSAs), regions, and counties across Georgia.  Some of these areas are reporting rates that compare with pre-pandemic unemployment rates.  The rates were down, labor forces were up, and employment numbers were up in every MSA across the state.  (Please see individual MSA and region and county releases for specific numbers.) 

Of the over 168,000 jobs currently listed on EmployGeorgia, over half of them advertise annual salaries over $40,000.  The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs.  

The Georgia Department of Labor has paid over $16 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. Last week, the GDOL issued $153 million in benefits, which include regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.  

As of the week ending March 21, 2020, 4,079,312 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the last nine years combined (3.8 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 29,088, up 9,462 over the week. The GDOL has worked diligently to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to release payments and is now processing regular UI claims within two weeks of a claim file date.  All eligible payments are released for claims that do not require additional determinations.  If a claimant has been fired or quit his/her job, a review will be necessary to determine eligibility.  This review could potentially delay payments. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 344,419 PUA claims have been processed. Due to federal guidelines, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is limited to 39 weeks of benefits.  Claimants who began receiving benefits at the beginning of the program (2/2/2020) are now exhausting those benefits with no extension currently in place. 

From week ending 10/21/2020, the sectors with the most regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 10,124; Administrative and Support Services, 2,496; Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,256; Manufacturing, 2,144; and Transportation and Warehousing, 2,064.   

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending November 21 was 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week's revised level of 748,000.

Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency's webpage at

For more information on jobs and current labor force date, visit the Georgia Labor Force Market Explorer at to view a comprehensive report.