November Georgia job market cools as jobless rate ticks up


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's red-hot job market continued to cool in November, with unemployment ticking up and payrolls flat.

While the numbers don't show an economy in reverse, the rapid job growth of the last two years appears to have stalled.

The state's jobless rate rose to 3% in November from 2.9% in October. It was the second straight monthly increase after three months at an all-time low of 2.8%.

The labor force fell for the fifth month in a row, while the number of people reporting they had a job fell for the fourth month. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work crept up to 156,000.

The number of workers on employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — was flat for the second month at 4.8 million. That's 182,000 above payroll levels last year.

Payrolls are measured by a survey of employers, separate from the survey of individuals.

The state released the figures Thursday. They are adjusted to cancel out seasonal fluctuations.

The nationwide unemployment rate was flat from October to November at 3.7%. That's down from 4.2% a year ago.

About 6,400 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended Dec. 10.

The overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 26,000 in the week that ended Dec. 3.