ATLANTA - Georgia’s jobless rate continued to drift down slowly in January, posting the ninth straight fall in the unemployment rate since it spiked to an all-time record in the early days of the pandemic.
The state’s unemployment rate was 5.1% in January, down from 5.3% in December. That’s still substantially above the 3.3% posted last January, but well below the state’s all-time high of 12.5% posted last April as many businesses shut down during the spread of the coronavirus.
More people sought and found jobs in January, pushing the number of unemployed Georgians down to about 259,000.
The nationwide unemployment rate in January was 6.3%.
A separate survey of employer payrolls — the top indicator for economists — showed little movement. Payrolls were flat from December to January at 4.45 million. That’s still well below the 4.67 million Georgians on payrolls in January 2020.
The Georgia Department of Labor released the job figures Thursday.
Georgia workers continue to file for unemployment at elevated levels. More than 28,000 workers made initial filings for benefits during the week of Feb. 27, a level that’s two to three times the weekly average before the pandemic began.
About 146,000 people are still collecting regular state unemployment, while 183,000 people are collecting special federal unemployment assistance available to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, or employees of churches and nonprofits.
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