ATLANTA — With college graduates flooding the job market eager for a chance to work, the Georgia Department of Labor announced the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had increased to 7.2 percent.
The increase is up three-tenths of a percentage from a revised 6.9 percent in April.
“This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May,” said Mark Butler, state labor commissioner. “In fact, we haven’t had a rate decrease in May since 1999.
“This time of year, we have new jobseekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs,” he said.
The labor force increased by 14,078 in May, the fifth consecutive month the labor force has increased.
Employers added 21,400 jobs in May, contributing to 80,200 jobs over the past year, Butler said.
The national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in May, down from 7.5 percent the same time the previous year and 8.2 in 2012. It was 9.0 percent in May of 2011.
The unemployment rate in the metro Atlanta area was up eight-tenths of a percentage from 6.5 in April to 7.3 percent in May. The rate a year ago in May was 8.0.
While the rate rose, the number of jobs increased by 19,700, or 0.8 percent, to 2,465,200 in May from 2,445,500 in April.
The metro Atlanta increase is larger than the 10,100 average gain between April and May over the past three years.
Most of the May job gains came in professional and business services, 6,900; leisure and hospitality, 4,700; trade, transportation and warehousing, 3,600; financial services, 2,200; construction, 1,800; manufacturing, 1,000; education and health services, 500; information services, 300; and other services, 400.
Government lost 1,700 jobs.
North Fulton cities and Forsyth County fared a lot better in May than a lot of the state when it comes to the number of jobless.
Alpharetta’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent; Johns Creek was 6.4 percent; Milton was 6.2 percent and Roswell was at 5.7 percent.
Forsyth County’s unemployment rate for May was 5.9 percent.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
“We are proud that Georgia continues to be a leader in over-the-year growth,” Butler said. “During the past 12 months, Georgia has ranked fifth or sixth in over-the-year job creation in the nation.”
For more information, visit www.employgeorgia.com.