State unemployment rate drops; 36,000 new jobs added - CBS46 News

State unemployment rate drops; 36,000 new jobs added

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said a huge increase in hiring is to thank for a decrease in the state's unemployment rate, which stood at 8.7 percent at the end of October. That's down from nine percent the month before, and down one percent from the same time one year before.

"It's the largest job growth during this period that has ever been recorded," said Butler. "We've also seen our workforce number increase again, we're at almost the highest number of our workforce almost since pre-recession levels."

Butler said the drop in unemployment rate is unique for this time of year because construction jobs usually drop off after the summer months.

"It looks as though we're seeing demand for construction right now," said Butler.

The number one area of job growth in the state was in the retail-trade sector, which added 8,000 full and part-time jobs during October. Education and healthcare added 7,000 jobs, and 6,000 new positions were hired in professional and business services.

Overall, 36,000 new jobs were added across the state.

Butler said, despite the positive numbers, the housing crisis continues to be a drag on the Georgia economy.

"Until the inventory is bought up, and we start seeing some of these vacant lots develop, and some of this vacant retail space, the construction industry will continue to grow at a very slow pace."

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