Metro Valdosta’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.5% in January

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that Metro Valdosta’s unemployment rate in January was 5.5 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.1 percent in December. In January 2016, the rate was 5.3 percent.

The rate rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased. These are normal seasonal fluctuations for January.

The number of jobs decreased by 900, or 1.6 percent, to 55,700. The job losses came in the service industries, such as trade, transportation and warehousing, along with state government and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction. 

However, over the year, 600 jobs were added, a 1.1 percent growth rate, up from 55,100 in January 2016. All of the job growth came in the service industries.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 152, or 45.1 percent, to 489. Most of the increase came in construction and arts, entertainment and recreation. However, over the year, claims were down by 42, or 7.9 percent, from 531 in January 2016.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs, grew by 63 to 64,360. The number of unemployed residents rose by 265 to 3,512, while the number of employed residents decreased by 202 to 60,848. Over the year, the number of people in the labor force increased by 1,119, as the number of employed grew by 943 and the number of unemployed increased by 176.

Metro Gainesville and the Georgia Mountains region had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.8 percent, while the Three Rivers region had the highest at 7.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for January was 5.5 percent, unchanged from a revised 5.5 percent in December. It was 5.6 percent in January 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employers. In January, 530 new job openings in Valdosta were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 64,018 new job openings were posted.