Georgia sees slight unemployment rate increase in May

(The Center Square) — Georgia’s unemployment rate increased slightly in May, hitting 3.2%, up from a revised 3.1% in April, and a leading Georgia business group said inflation is still challenging many businesses.

However, the Peach State’s unemployment rate was lower than the national unemployment rate of 4%, Georgia officials touted.

State officials said a 0.2% increase in jobs — or 9,200 jobs — over the month and a 1.5% increase — or 73,900 — over the year raised the number of jobs to more than 4.9 million, setting an all-time high. Additionally, officials said the labor force participation rate increased slightly to 61.6% from 61.5%.

“Confidence in Georgia’s job market isn’t the only thing hitting all-time highs – a record number of Georgians have returned to the workforce as well,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson said in a statement. “Despite national economic challenges and inflation, Georgia’s businesses are stepping up and creating more opportunities for hardworking Georgians to secure high-quality jobs.”

Earlier this month, the National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index revealed that its uncertainty index had reached the highest level since 2020.

“Inflation is creating a lot of uncertainty for Georgia’s small business community,” NFIB State Director Hunter Loggins said in a statement. “It continues to drive up the cost of everything from raw materials to shopping bags, and it’s forcing people to cut back on spending.”