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Unemployment rate falls to 5-year low

12/20/2013, 6 a.m.

Georgia’s jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the lowest rate in five years.

The rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.1 percent in October and a full percentage point from 8.7 percent in November a year ago, the Georgia Department of Labor reported on Dec. 19.

The seasonally adjusted rate in November 2013 is its lowest point since November 2008, when it was 7.6 percent.

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Mark Butler

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler attributed the decline to strong job growth and a drop in new claims for unemployment insurance benefits.

“The number of new jobs is the best October-to-November growth since 2007 and the number of new claims is the lowest for any month since September 2007,” he said. “Both of these numbers predate the recession.”

Metro Atlanta gained 59,200 jobs, up 2.5 percent, for 2,447,600 jobs in November 2013 from 2,388,400 jobs in November 2012.

Statewide, the number of jobs increased by 19,500 or 0.5 percent, from 4,076,000 in October to 4,095,500 in November, the most jobs in Georgia since September 2008. Growth came mostly in trade, transportation and warehousing with 14,700 new jobs. Government added 2,000; financial services, 1,700; construction and education and health care, 1,500 each; manufacturing, 1,000; and information services, 900, along with 100 in other services.

Over-the-year, Georgia gained 91,200 jobs, or 2.3 percent, since November 2012 when there were 4,004,300 jobs.

The gains came in professional and business services, 27,400; leisure and hospitality, 20,500; education and health services, 18,600; trade, transportation and warehousing, 16,500; construction, 13,100; and financial services, 5,900. Government has lost 6,900 jobs in the past year.

The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, decreased to 33,781, down by 6,351, or 15.8 percent, from 40,132 in October. There were 47,351 claims in November 2012.

The overall number of jobless Georgians decreased to 363,055, down by 20,322 from October, the fewest since October 2008 when there were 346,852. In November 2012, there were 420,382 unemployed residents.