Metro Columbus’ Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.4% in April

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Friday, May 26th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Labor announced that Metro Columbus’ unemployment rate in April was 5.4 percent, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.8 percent in March. In April 2016, the rate was 6 percent.

The rate declined as more people became employed and employers created more jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs.

The number of jobs in Columbus increased by 400, or 0.3 percent, to 121,100. The job growth came in leisure and hospitality and retail trade, along with local government.

Over-the-year, a total of 800 jobs were added, a 0.7 percent growth rate, up from 120,300, in
April 2016. The job growth came in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, finance and insurance, along with manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 219, or 27.4 percent, to 579. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 292, or 33.5 percent, from 871 in April 2016.

There were 92 more Metro Columbus residents employed in April than in March, pushing the total number to 117,121. There were 1,564 more people employed in April than in April 2016.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, declined by 343 to 123,829. That total represents an increase of 886 over the past 12 months.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 3.9 percent, while the Heart of Georgia and River Valley regions had the highest at 5.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for April was 5 percent, down from 5.1 percent in March. It was 5.4 percent in April 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In April, 2,488 new job openings in Columbus were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 75,183 new job openings were posted.