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Hall County unemployment rate drops to lowest level since 2007
Kit Dunlap
Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce president and CEO

Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate in April fell to 3.9 percent, the lowest it’s been since November 2007 for Hall County, when the rate was 3.5 percent.

Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said large numbers of people commuting from other counties is helping boost the Hall economy. She pointed to manufacturing, health care and construction.

“A diverse economy is growing and needing some workers,” Dunlap said.
The rate remains the lowest in Georgia, according to state Department of Labor figures released Thursday, and was down from 4 percent in March.

In April 2016, the rate was 4.3 percent. The rate declined as more people became employed and employers created more jobs, the DOL reported.

The number of jobs in Hall County increased by 400, or 0.5 percent, to 88,900. Job growth was in service industries such as trade, transportation and warehousing, along with state government. In the past year, 3,300 jobs were added, a 3.9 percent growth rate, up from 85,600, in April 2016. The job growth came mostly in manufacturing, followed by increases in retail trade and state and local government.

Dunlap said the chamber’s workforce development efforts with Lanier Technical College and both the Hall and Gainesville school systems are paying off.

“There’s no magic to creating a whole lot of workers at one time who are qualified,” Dunlap said.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 120, or 28.4 percent, to 543. Most of the increase came in manufacturing. Over the year, however, claims were down by 125, or 18.7 percent, from 668 in April 2016.

There were 63 more metro Gainesville residents employed in April than in March, pushing the total number to 94,486. There were 3,774 more people employed in April than in April 2016.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, declined by 32 to 98,284. That total represents an increase of 3,529 over the past 12 months.

Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for April was 5 percent, down from 5.1 percent in March. It was 5.4 percent in April 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In April, 1,266 new job openings in Gainesville were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 75,183 new job openings were posted.

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