FILE - Help Wanted Unemployment

(The Center Square) – Georgia's unemployment rate in October was the lowest in the state's history, officials said.

After 18 months of steady decline, the state's unemployment rate has reached 3.1%, with the number of unemployed workers at its lowest level since 2001. The state also has added more than 200,000 jobs over the past year, reflecting a 4.5% increase.

"We have seen continuous job growth this year as we have gained back 90 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic," Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a news release. "The continual increase in employment opportunity, particularly in those areas hardest hit by the pandemic, reinforces the critical need for encouraging available Georgians back into the workforce."

Despite the record unemployment rate and new jobs, the labor force still is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia's labor force is down 32,000 compared with March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.

Most of the new jobs in October were added to the transportation and warehousing industry (3,600). The industry has continued to flourish during the pandemic because of the increased need for deliveries. Job numbers in the industry were at a record-high 977,400 in October.

The retail trade sector added 3,000 jobs in October, reaching an all-time high of 502,600 jobs. The state also saw strong job growth in health care and social assistance jobs (2,500), administrative and support services jobs (2,300) and nondurable goods manufacturing (2,000).

Gov. Brian Kemp has vowed to keep the trend going.

"Georgia's economy continues to outpace the rest of the nation with strong job growth, an all-time low unemployment rate, and the fewest unemployed Georgians in 20 years," Kemp said. "As we pass 200,000 jobs added this year alone, we're not taking our foot off the gas. Thanks to our pro-business environment, unmatched workforce development assets, and low cost of doing business, companies from around the world are looking to relocate to the Peach State, and Georgia-grown businesses are hiring more workers and expanding operations."

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for five years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.