Metro Gainesville, which includes all of Hall County, closed out 2017 with record highs for jobs, employed residents and workforce, according to Georgia Department of Labor figures released Thursday.
In December metro Gainesville added 400 new jobs to end the year with a record-high 91,300 jobs. The area added 2,600 since Jan. 1, 2017. The previous record high was 90,900 in November. Most of the yearly job growth came in the service industries, state government and the goods-producing sector, including manufacturing and construction.
Hall’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent from 4.2 percent in the past year. The metro Gainesville area ranked fifth in Georgia for job creation among 14 metro statistical areas tracked by the GDOL.
“This is a very good year for the Gainesville area,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. “All of the major indicators trended in the right direction. In fact, records were set. I’m expecting the same will continue in 2018.”
The metro area also added 498 more employed residents last month. At year’s end, metro Gainesville posted a record-high 96,994 employed residents, up by 3,431 since Jan. 1, 2017. The previous record high was 96,496 in November.
Metro Gainesville’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, grew by 414 in December. The area added 2,883 over the year to end 2017 with a labor force of 100,529. The previous record high was a month earlier.
In December 422 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, up by 7 percent from the previous month. Claims are down by 23 percent from 547 as compared to December 2016. Most of the decrease in claims came in manufacturing.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com, showed 769 new active job postings in metro Gainesville at year’s end.