Georgia jobless rate ticks up, but labor market keeps setting records for numbers of jobs


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's jobless rate ticked up for the second month in a row in September, although jobs continued to rise in the state.

Unemployment rose to 3.4% in September from 3.3% in August. That's also up slightly from 3.1% in September 2022, although the current jobless rate remains quite low in historical terms.

Slightly more people entered the labor force looking for new jobs than reported having a job, pushing up the number of unemployed Georgians to about 179,000. Both the labor force and number of people saying they were working hit another all-time high in September.

The number of workers on Georgia employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — is measured by a separate survey. Payrolls rose by 17,000 from August to September, reaching 4.94 million. That's about 96,000 more than in September 2022, and also another all-time high for that figure.

The Georgia Department of Labor released the numbers Thursday. They are adjusted to cancel out typical seasonal fluctuations.

About 3,900 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended Oct. 14, and the overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 30,000 in the week that ended Oct. 7. Both those numbers are slightly lower than in earlier weeks.

The nationwide unemployment stayed steady at 3.8% from August to September. It was 3.5% a year ago.