State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said on Thursday that 2017 was a banner year for job creation, employment and work force gains in metro Dalton.
The Murray-Whitfield-County Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ended the year with 600 new jobs, a thousand more employed residents and a larger workforce. The unemployment rate fell .5 percent. Dalton, along with Brunswick and Valdosta, ranked seventh in Georgia for job creation among 14 MSAs tracked by the GDOL.
“This is a very good year for the Dalton area,” Mr.
Butler said. “All of the major indicators trended in the right direction. I’m expecting the same will continue in 2018.”
While metro Dalton lost 100 jobs in December, the area ended the year with 70,400 jobs. That’s 600 more than a year earlier. Most of the job growth came in manufacturing and construction, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and warehousing.
In December, the number of employed residents declined by 42. Still, the metro area added 1,173 over the year, ending 2017 with 59,642.
Metro Dalton’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, grew by 98 in December. The area ended the year with 63,134, up by 962 over the year.
In December 1,010 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, down by .5 percent from the previous month. Claims are down by 15 percent from the same period a year earlier. Most of the annual decrease in claims came in manufacturing.
Meanwhile, the metro area’s unemployment rate fell from 6 percent to 5.5 over the 12-month cycle. The December rate, at 5.5 percent, was up from the previous month by .2 percent.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 431 new active job postings in metro Dalton at year’s end.
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