Mark Butler, Georgia’s Labor Commissioner, asserts that 2019 was a banner year for this state with increases in jobs, work force and employed residents. According to preliminary data of the Department of Labor, year-end numbers in all three of those categories were record highs. Meanwhile, the December unemployment rate hit another record low.

Georgia’s unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent last month, down from 3.3 percent in November and from 3.7 percent in December 2018. The state has now set a new record low two months in a row after first tying the old record back in October.

Butler enthuses that, as far as labor data is concerned, Georgia closed out the year 2019 on a high note.

The number of jobs statewide totaled 4.65 million in December, up by about 4,000 over the month and by just under 70,000 over the year.

Jobs increased in metro Rome by 1,100, or 2.6 percent, over the year to total 43,000 in December 2019.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance decreased across the state by about 78 percent over the month and by six percent over the year. A total of 291,962 claims were filed in 2019.

Initial UI claims rose in metro Rome by 550, or 100.2 percent, over the year to 1,099 in December 2019.

Georgia ended the year with 4.97 million employed residents, along with the labor force at 5.13 million strong – both new records.

Butler attests that Georgia needs to be focused on workforce development in the year 2020. If we aren’t, it could result in a slow down of job creation.

Connect with the Georgia Department of Labor online for more labor market data and information about services for job seekers at