Closer Look, Local

Behind Georgia’s Unemployment Numbers With Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

The DeKalb Department of Labor serves the areas of DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale.
The DeKalb Department of Labor serves the areas of DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale.
Credit Grace Walker / WABE

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, 2,600 jobs were added in the month of May, and that means the total number of jobs is more than 4.5 million.

The Labor Department also reported other promising statistics such as a decrease in unemployment, but are working Georgians feeling the effects of these positive numbers? And what do long-term trends tell us about employment in the state?

To get a better idea of what these numbers actually mean, WABE’s  “Closer Look” turned to Labor Commissioner Mark Butler — meeting him at the DeKalb Department of Labor field office and career center

Butler said the field offices, like the one in DeKalb, help people to follow-up on unemployment claims, use computers for job searches and staff to help with additional re-employment services like updating your resume and job training.

“If you come to see us if you’ve been laid off or you’re unemployed, we can do an assessment to figure out what it is that you need,” he said. “And if you do need those additional services then we refer you, instead of in another building or across town, just across the hall to somebody that can help you with additional resources.”

Butler said in today’s job market many employers are still looking for skilled workers.

GA Labor Commissioner Mark Butler talks state’s job market and unemployment. (Grace Walker/WABE)

“We’re continuing to see jobs created, so we’re definitely in the positive area there but we also still have a lot of open jobs,” he said. “If you were to check today, if you were to go on EmployGeorgia.com, you could see roughly about 100,000 active job listings. The thing that we need is more individuals out there in that job search and more people that are prepared for that job search.”

You can listen to part one of the conversation here.