Aldi is hiring for its new store in Buckhead as well as stores in Dacula, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Loganville and Snellville. The company is filling positions as shift managers as well as associates. (AJC file photo)

Metro Atlanta jobless rate dips to 11-year low

Metro Atlanta had only modest job growth last month, but the unemployment rate fell to 4 percent – its lowest level in March since 2007.

The region added 7,300 jobs during the month, less than half the average expansion for March during the previous five years, according to a report Thursday from the Georgia Department of Labor.

The region continued to account for most of the jobs added in the state.

VIDEO: We spend lots of time working

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we're a pretty busy bunch every day. And we want our rest.
Video: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta is getting a push from two tailwinds, as it benefits from both the global and national economies, said Gus Faucher, chief economist of The PNC Financial Services Group. “Job growth in Atlanta is running consistently above the U.S. average.”

Low unemployment means good employees are harder to find and keep, which should mean higher pay – and a PNC survey of employers promises good news for Atlanta workers.

“Nearly one-half of them expect to increase employee compensation over the next six months,” he said.

Several heavily blue-collar sectors were strong: those with jobs in healthcare, logistics and hospitality.

In contrast, construction lost jobs – perhaps because of the unusually bad weather during the month. Also down were jobs in information –perhaps because of the churn that adds new tech jobs while others become obsolete.

Unemployment a year ago was 4.7 percent. In the year since, the metro economy has added 45,200 jobs.

April is typically one of the stronger months for hiring in Atlanta. Among those that are hiring this month are:

Aldi, the supermarket chain, is holding job fairs on April 30 for seven of its stores. The company is hiring shift managers and associates.

In the higher-paid tech sector, Atlanta-based Square is hiring software engineers, product managers, and data scientists, according to a spokeswoman. The company, which makes software tools – especially for small businesses – has 60 employees now and space for 100.

Metro Atlanta jobs in March

Jobs added, 2018: 7,300

Average jobs added, 2013-17: 15,200

Unemployment rate, 2018: 4.0 percent

Unemployment rate, 2017: 4.7 percent

Highest March unemployment rate: 10.2 percent (2010)

Lowest March unemployment rate: 3.1 percent (1999)

Jobs added past 12 months: 45,200

Jobs added previous 12 months: 75,200

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, staff research

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