Metro Columbus’ Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.8% in March

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that Metro Columbus unemployment rate in March was 5.8 percent, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 6.5 percent in February. In March 2016, the rate was also 6.5 percent.

The rate declined because more people became employed and employers continued to add jobs and lay off fewer workers.   

The number of employed residents increased by 633 to 117,253, as the labor force fell by 275 to 124,426. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs.

The number of jobs increased by 500, or 0.4 percent, to 120,900. The job growth came in leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.

Over the year, 600 jobs were added, a 0.5 percent growth rate, up from 120,300 in March 2016. Job growth came in leisure and hospitality, finance and insurance, and trade, transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 74, or 8.5 percent, to 798. Most of the decrease came in administrative and support services and accommodations and food services, along with educational and information services. Over the year, claims were up by three, or 0.4 percent, from 795 in March 2016.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in February. It was 5.5 percent in March 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In March, 2,586 new job openings in Columbus were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 85,055 new job openings were posted.