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Georgia unemployment rate rises to 7.2 percent | VIDEO

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler explains the May unemployment data.


Mark Butler

Mark Butler

Video

Ga. unemployment rises to 7.2 percent

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler explains the May unemployment data.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler explains the May unemployment data.

Citing an increased number of job seekers, Georgia’s unemployment rate rose in May to 7.2 percent, state labor officials said Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was three-tenths of a point higher than the revised April unemployment figure of 6.9 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor said.

Officials said unemployment has risen from April to May every year for more than a decade, due in part to spring college graduates entering the job market.

“This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “In fact, we haven’t had a rate decrease in May since 1999. This time of year, we have new job seekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs.”

Labor officials noted that unemployment claims were down from April to May by 1.1 percent and that the overall number of jobs in Georgia rose by five-tenths of a percent to 4.13 million. The department said the growth in the number of jobs was larger than the average April-to-May growth of 13,000 jobs over the past three years.

“Employers added 21,400 jobs in May, contributing to the 80,200 jobs we have created over the past year,” Butler said. “We are proud that Georgia continues to be a leader in over-the-year growth. During the past 12 months, Georgia has ranked fifth or sixth in over-the-year job creation in the nation.”

The state’s labor force — the number of people working or actively looking for a job — rose by more than 14,000 from April to May, to 4.78 million. Officials said it was the fifth consecutive month that Georgia’s labor force has grown.

On the net:

Georgia Department of Labor: www.dol.state.ga.us