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First-time jobless claims up in Rome

December 21, 2017--8:10 a.m.


The Rome area has added 300 jobs over the year.

However, first-time claims for unemployment insurance increased locally, from 223 in October to 388 in November.

There were 300 initial claims in November of last year.

Initial claims were also up slightly in Bartow, Gordon, Chattooga and Polk Counties over the month.

The news was better when looking at the state as a whole, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Labor:

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Georgia’s jobs, employment, and labor force numbers continued to grow in November and unemployment insurance claims fell.

The only number not improving in November was the state’s unemployment rate. But even it remained unchanged at an already low 4.3 percent. Butler said 2017 has been a banner year for Georgia as a jobs producer and for its residents finding good jobs.

Georgia, Butler noted, finally shook off the effects of Hurricane Irma.

“After lower October job numbers due to the storm, this month sees the state getting back to normal - that ‘normal’ being Georgia continuing to be a national leader in employment and job creation,” Butler said. “As the year comes to a close, Georgia’s businesses continue to help Georgia set records in job growth and employment.”

November turned out to be record-setting for Georgia in terms of employed residents, labor force, and total jobs.

The number of employed residents rose by 6,385 to 4,871,948 - the highest number ever recorded. From November a year ago, the number of employed residents was up by 170,267. Likewise, the labor force rose to 5,093,395 in November, setting yet another record. It is up by 119,462 since November 2016.

“We did see a significant increase in employment, which is the most important number now,” Butler said. “We’ve had such a good year that it seems every month we set another series of records.”

Georgia again set a record for total jobs in the state at 4,513,300 jobs in November, up by 2,900 from a revised 4,510,400 in October. That record was accompanied by record numbers of jobs in professional and business services, education and health services and leisure and hospitality.

Over the past 12 months, Georgia has posted 85,200 new jobs, a 1.9 percent growth rate. At 1.9 percent, Georgia is outpacing the national job growth rate of 1.4 percent. Over-the-year job growth came mostly in professional and business services, 22,600; education and health services, 16,400; trade, transportation and warehousing, 15,100; and leisure and hospitality, 13,900. With a loss of 5,100 jobs, manufacturing was the only major employment sector to suffer an annual job loss. The monthly numbers followed similar trends.

November’s unemployment claims were also down by 9.9 percent to 24,364. There were fewer temporary claims filed in manufacturing. When compared to last November, claims were down by 11.2 percent from 27,434.

“Overall everything is trending the way we’d like to see it go for Georgia,” Butler said.