May jobless rate declines in metro Columbus

Press Release 

May unemployment rate declines slightly to 9.2% in metro Columbus

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Columbus declined to 9.2% in May, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.3% in April.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the metro area decreased to 11,940, down 52 from 11,992 in April.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2% in May, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.3% in April.

However, the jobless rate remains seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than the 9.5% at this same time last year.

This is the 32nd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 %. The jobless rate in metro Columbus in May 2009 was 8.5%.

Also in May, 1,229 laid-off workers in metro Columbus filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, an increase of 35, or 2.9 percent, from 1,194 filed in May 2009.

Statewide, 57,919 laid-off workers filed initial claims, a decline of 17,517, or 23.2%, from 75,436 filed in May 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services. 

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said, "We will not see a significant improvement in Georgia's job market until small businesses begin hiring, which will lay a solid foundation for a sustainable economic recovery."

The state showed a modest increase in new jobs in May for the fourth consecutive month. The number of jobs increased 24,700, or seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,818,700 in April to 3,843,400. However, the number of jobs remains less than in May 2009, when there were 3,911,400 payroll jobs, 1.7%, or 68,000 more than this year.

Metro Columbus' job market also showed a modest improvement. The number of payroll jobs in the metro area increased 1,600, or 1.4 percentage points, from 117,700 in April to 119,300. 

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at

Source: Georgia Department of Labor,