Mark Butler, State Labor Commissioner, has reported that Northwest Georgia added to its labor force in December. Annual numbers for employed residents and workforce also rose in this 15-county area, according to preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Labor.

Northwest Georgia’s unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent in December of 2019, up from 2.8 percent the previous month but down from 3.9 percent the previous year.

Butler indicates that the over-the-month jump in the unemployment rate was due in part to a jump in first-time unemployment claims; however, most were temporary and most laid-off workers are back on the job.

Initial unemployment claims rose across the area by about 203 percent over the month and by about 102 percent over the year.

The biggest factor into the increase in the unemployment rate was an uptick in the area’s labor force by almost 4,000 over the month, says Butler. This is good news because jobs are available in Northwest Georgia.

Butler adds that the number of employed residents rose by over 400 over the month and by more than 5,200 over the year.

Georgia’s unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent in December of 2019. The state has set a new record low for last two straight months after first tying the old record back in October.

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