Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson announced on Thursday that Georgia's February unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, unchanged from a revised 3.1 percent in January. The unemployment rate has held at 3.1 percent for seven consecutive months and was five-tenths lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. In January, Georgia had the highest labor force participation rate in the southeast, 61.0 percent, as well as the highest employment-to-population ratio in the region, 59.1 percent.
“With consistently low unemployment and the southeast’s highest labor force participation rate, it is clear that Georgia means business,” said Commissioner Bruce Thompson. “Due to sustained investments in the state’s economy and talented workforce, Georgia remains a top destination to live, work, and raise a family.”
Jobs were up by 3,200 (0.1%) over the month and up by 135,100 (2.8%) over the year to 4,875,800, an all-time high. Job numbers were at an all-time high in Private Education and Health Services, 648,900; and Leisure and Hospitality, 510,900. Jobs were down in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, -2,100; Administrative and Support Services, -1,300; and Durable Goods Manufacturing, -1,000.
Leisure and Hospitality, which lost 222,300 jobs during the pandemic, became the last private sector group to regain all jobs lost during the economic shutdown. The sector includes several subgroups that drive Georgia’s hospitality, food, and tourism industry, including restaurants and drinking establishments, traveler accommodations such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, arts and entertainment such as amusement, recreation, spectator sports, the performing arts, and museums.
The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Retail Trade, 3,000; Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, 1,300; Specialty Trade Contractors, 1,300; Local Government, 1,100; and Wholesale Trade, 1,000.
Georgia’s labor force increased for the fifth consecutive month by 9,201 to 5,248,532, the largest one-month increase since March 2022. The labor force participation rate increased by one-tenth to 61.1 percent.
For the fourth consecutive month, the number of employed was up by 7,950 to 5,085,571, the largest one-month increase since March 2022. While after decreasing for two consecutive months, the number of unemployed increased for the second consecutive month by 1,251 to 162,961.
In February, over 120,000 job listings were online for Georgians to access. The top five employers included Wellstar Health System, 1,000; Cox Communications, 1,000; Emory University, 900; Piedmont Healthcare, 800; and University of Georgia, 700.
The top five industries included Health Care, 18,000; Accommodation and Food Services, 9,500; Retail Trade, 8,600; Manufacturing, 7,500; and Finance and Insurance, 5,800.
The top five occupations included Health Care (including Nursing), 17,700; Sales, 10,700; Hospitality, Food, and Tourism, 10,600; Information Technology, 9,000; and Business Management and Operations, 8,500.
Initial claims were down 19,123 (-45%) from January to 23,055 in February. Over the year, initial claims were up 978 (4%).