Georgia unemployment drops to record low in May, job figures hit all-time high

More than two years removed from unemployment claims flooding the Georgia Department of Labor at unprecedented levels, Georgia's unemployment rate reached a record low in May. 

The Department of Labor reported on Thursday the unemployment rate is 3% in Georgia, about six-tenths of a percent below the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Simultaneously, the number of jobs in Georgia reached a record 4,782,400, which is 244,100 more than May 2021. The number of employed Georgians also reached an all-time high in May.

Georgia labor commissioner Mark Butler said additional workers are scarce, and employers are increasing wages to compete for workers. 

"As the state continues to experience a very tight labor market, as evidenced by our low unemployment rate, our focus has been on encouraging more individuals to re-enter the workforce, " said Commissioner Butler. "Unless those who have chosen not to work decide they want to re-enter the workforce or more people move into the state, additional workers will be scarce."

The food services and support services industries saw the greatest job gains year-over-year. Trade and transportation industry jobs were at a record level, with the DOL reporting 1,012,000. 

When Pew Research looked into the driving factors behind Americans leaving their jobs in 2021, the survey found low-wage workers were most likely to have quit. Pew reported 63% said low pay was a driving factor and 63% also cited lack of advancement opportunities. Desperation to fill those empty spots that workers deemed to be too dead-end have contributed to the average wage increase of 4.5% last year; the biggest bump in years.