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Initial unemployment insurance claims down locally

May 18, 2017--7:13 a.m.

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Rome have declined by 35% over the year, according to the latest numbers from the Georgia Department of Labor.

There were 434 initial claims filed in April of 2016 but only 283 in April of this year.

In addition, the Rome area gained 700 jobs over the year.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Gordon County declined by 51% last month.

There were 255 initial claims filed in March but only 124 in April.

First-time claims were down over the month in Chattooga County and Polk County as well.

Although the number rose slightly in Floyd and Bartow County from March to April, claims were still down from this time last year.

You can see the county by county data here.

The labor department also announced that Georgia’s unemployment rate decreased to 5 percent in April, down from 5.1 percent in March.

In April 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

“Our rate declined in April as we saw more people become employed, the labor force continued to grow and our employers reduced the number of new layoffs,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “New claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, dropped to the lowest level we’ve seen in nearly 19 years.”

There were 15,179 more Georgians employed in April than in March, pushing the total number to another record of 4,778,503. There were 156,700 more people employed in April than a year ago in April 2016.

Meanwhile, the labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, grew by 10,545 to 5,031,142. That total represents an increase of 145,983 over the past 12 months.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 3,386, or 13.5 percent, to 21,633, its lowest point since May 1998. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 4,712, or 17.9 percent, from 26,345 in April 2016, with manufacturing and administrative and support services again contributing to the decline.      

Even as there were more employed Georgians, the state lost 2,800 jobs in April, dropping to a total of 4,466,700. Job losses came in construction, 3,000; trade, transportation and warehousing, 2,600; leisure and hospitality, 2,400; professional and business services, 1,200; and education and health services, 600. The job losses were offset somewhat by gains in manufacturing, 2,200; information services, 1,800; other services, including repair and maintenance, 1,600; and government, 1,300.