Among the signs of improvement: It takes less time now for companies to shift temporary hires to full-time, he said.
Georgia’s unemployment rate a year ago was 5.6 percent, so on the surface, it may look as if the job market hasn’t gotten much better. But in those 12 months, the economy has added 114,700 jobs. However, the unemployment rate hasn’t gone down much because the number of people in the labor force has gone up.
During the five previous years, from December January the number of jobs in the state grew by an average of 6,100.
Despite nearly seven years of job growth, Georgia’s workforce of 4.9 million people still includes roughly 276,000 people looking for work.
That is far lower than during the worst of the jobs crisis. But more than 30 percent have been looking for more than six months. Anyone not actively looking for work is not officially counted as unemployed.
A broad swath of sectors added jobs in January: financial services grew by 4,300; leisure and hospitality was up 4,200; trade, transportation and warehousing grew by 3,700; government expanded by 1,600; manufacturing was up 1,100; and construction added 900.
Losses came in the corporate sector, which was down 7,700. Education and health services shed 1,100 positions and other services lost 1,000.
The national unemployment rate is 4.8 percent. Georgia’s has not been below the national average since 2007, before the economy slipped into recession. Despite that, the pace of job growth in Georgia is faster than the nation’s.