Valdosta’s Initial Unemployment Claims Spike in April

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Valdosta’s initial claims for unemployment spiked in April.

Due to the effects of COVID-19, all MSA’s throughout the state saw a dramatic incline in initial claims along with all major sectors. 

 “Although we are seeing all-time high unemployment rates across a majority of the state, we are continuing to work with employers on effective strategies to get Georgians back to work in both a safe and economically efficient way,” said Butler.

In Valdosta, the unemployment rate increased 5.4 percentage points in April, reaching 9.9 percent. A year ago, the rate was 3.1 percent. 

The number of unemployment claims went up by 422 percent in April, which directly correlated with the number of temporary and potentially permanent lay-offs associated with COVID-19. When compared to last April, claims were up by about 7,360 percent.

Valdosta ended April with 51,400 jobs. That number decreased by 4,400 from March to April and was down by 5,000 when compared to this time last year.

The labor force decreased in April by 4,365 and ended the month with 59,658. That number is down 3,712 when compared to April of 2019. 

Valdosta finished the month with 53,730 employed residents.  That number decreased by 7,391 over the month and is down by 7,654 when compared to the same time a year ago. 

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed about 355 active job postings in metro Valdosta for April.