(The Center Square) — A week after Georgia officials trumpeted what they said was a record low unemployment, new numbers show the state’s unemployment rate is rising.
The seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate dropped from 3.1% in April to 3% in May. However, preliminary numbers released Thursday show the non-seasonally adjusted state rate increased from 2.5% in April to 2.7% in May.
Every Georgia regional commission recorded a rise in its unemployment rate in May.
“Even though the labor force increased in all of our regions, counties, and metropolitan service areas, job postings continue to outpace those gains placing strain on employers to find talent for open positions,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in an announcement. “Many areas across our state are experiencing difficulty in filling many of the seasonal, temporary jobs normally filled with summer workers, due to the opportunities in full-time employment.”
In the Atlanta Regional Commission, which includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties, the unemployment rate increased from 2.5% in April to 2.7% in May. The rate was 4.2% a year ago.
The River Valley Regional Commission, which includes counties in the Columbus area, saw the highest unemployment rate in the state. Its unemployment rate increased from 3.4% in April to 3.6% in May; a year ago, it was 5.3%.
Conversely, the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, which includes counties in the Gainesville area, saw the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Its unemployment rate increased from 1.8% in April to 2.2% in May and was lower than its rate of 2.9% a year ago.
A recent Center Square analysis of federal labor force data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the state’s labor participation rate, which at 62.2% in April equaled the national rate, has dropped over the past two decades.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonal adjustment is “a statistical technique that attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment change from month to month.” Preliminary numbers could be revised next month.