Unemployment rate falls as Columbus adds jobs for workers

Unemployment rate falls as Columbus adds jobs for workers

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The state of Georgia released new numbers Thursday saying unemployment in Georgia is down to its lowest level in eight years.

New stores opening means more people will be put to work. While the numbers for December have declined, some people are continuing to look for work.

Derek Sims has been looking a permanent job for a few months, but for now he's working with a local contractor to open the new Ross store.

"Getting the area cleaned up, so I can get ready for the opening and getting it real clean," Sims said.

Sims says this temporary job is okay for now.

"It's alright, when things get slow I just go to the temp service and they'll send me out until things pick by up," said Sims.

In new numbers released by the state, the unemployment rate in Georgia fell to 6.9 percent in December, down from the 7.2 percent in November.

Nationally, 252,000 jobs were also added in December bringing the unemployment rate to 5.6 percent.

The Midtown Shopping Center on Macon Road is adding jobs. Dollar Tree hired 20 new employees since opening in 2014, and other stores in the complex are doing the same.

"We're looking to hire more in the near future once the other stores here has opened, but we definitely has the customer fist mindset always looking for the top quality candidate," said Ashley Willis, store manager.

Willis says bringing more jobs means growth to areas surrounding the shopping center.

"We're excited because we feel as though once the other store get opened, we'll increase in sales and increase in productivity," said Willis.

The Columbus Career Center say any decrease in unemployment is headed in the right direction.

"We have not seen as many people come back in here to fill unemployment claims because we're hoping the reason why is they stuck on through the holidays and gained regular employment," said John Irvine, CCC.

Many of the new jobs added are going to various areas.

"In the education area. I know that Columbus Technical College has many openings. And we're seeing a lot of office support staff throughout the area. Also in the food service industry," said Irvine.

The career center believes it's their goal to find permanent work to keep unemployment numbers down.

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