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Ga. Labor Chief: Jobless Rate Shows True Job Growth | News

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Ga. Labor Chief: Jobless Rate Shows True Job Growth

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says Georgia's dip in unemployment rates is bucking the national trend because it reflects actual job growth.

We interviewed Butler by phone today. Listen to the audio above.

Experts have attributed some recent drops in the nationwide unemployment rate to the chronically-unemployed quitting the job search.

But Butler says the decrease in the preliminary unemployment rate from 10 percent in October to 9.4 percent in November is the result of hiring.

He says businesses in the Macon area made approximately 1,100 new hires in that period.

And the best news: He says they aren't seasonal, but long term positions in industries such as health care, financial services and hospitality.

"It's a very diverse employment number," says Butler. "Our numbers are going in the right direction, for the right reason."

Butler says before the recession Georgia's economy was experiencing strong growth thanks to the construction industry, which would later become one of the industries hardest hit.

But he says the Georgia's economy was strong before the economic downturn, and now businesses seem to be "cautiously" hiring.

"I just believe that Georgia businesses are starting to have some confidence in Georgia's economy," says Butler. "They're starting to invest, they're seeing demand for services go up."

However Butler cautions it's far too soon to call the news a trend

He says the numbers represent only a snapshot of Georgia's economy and doesn't necessarily indicate a long-term upswing in job growth.



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