State Labor Commissioner: ‘Additional workers will be scarce’

Pointing to a new record low unemployment rate, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler on Thursday signaled the state’s tight labor market is not likely to ease anytime soon. Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped to 3 percent in May while the number of available jobs continued to climb to an all-time high. According to the Department of Labor, there were 4,782,400 available jobs in Georgia last month, up 18,100 from April to May and up 244,100 over the year.

Georgia’s unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national May 2022 unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

“Unless those who have chosen not to work decide they want to re-enter the workforce or more people move into the state, additional workers will be scarce,” Butler says.

Of the 5.2 million people in Georgia’s labor force, 157,542 were unemployed last month, the lowest number since April of 2001.

“We have seen wages increase at an accelerated rate as employers compete for talent in the workplace,” says Butler. “As summer vacations ramp up, and with it more temporary jobs, we will continue to see ‘Please be patient’ signs as employers struggle to fill vacancies.”

The median salary for jobs listed on the state’s Employ Georgia website is $45,000. Most of the job listings in May were in the health, manufacturing, finance and insurance industries. Retail Trade rounded out the top four, with Walmart seeking to fill over 1,000 jobs in the Peach State.

In April, Georgia had the second-lowest unemployment rate (3.1%) among the top ten most populated states behind Florida (3%). Alabama had the lowest unemployment rate (2.8%) among neighboring states.

For more information on jobs and current labor force data, visit Georgia LaborMarket Explorer.

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