Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Valdosta posted a strong March with all key metrics trending in the right directions.

 

Valdosta, preliminary numbers showed, posted monthly gains in jobs, employed residents and work force. Meanwhile, the number of unemployment claims fell and the unemployment rate dropped for the four-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

 

“Overall, March was a very good month,” Butler said. “Georgia’s economy, just like the nation’s, is running strong. Our communities are consistently adding jobs and unemployment rates are falling. The numbers continue to improve.”

 

Valdosta ended March with 57,200 jobs. That’s an increase of about 1,100 from the job total as of a year ago and it’s up 500 from last month’s total.

 

Valdosta also posted gains for jobs in:

  • Trade, transportation and utilities.

 

The unemployment rate fell in March, dropping by 0.3 percentage points to settle at 3.7 percent. A year ago, the rate was 4.1 percent.

 

Nationally, the rate for March remained unchanged at 3.8 percent.

 

The labor force increased in March by 209 to reach 65,071. That number is up by 316 from the total of March 2018.

 

Valdosta ended February with 62,648 employed residents.  The number climbed by 404 in March and was up by 517 over March 2018’s total.

 

The numbers of unemployment claims fell in March by 23 percent and were down by 41 percent from the same period last year.

 

Claims were down in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Administrative/support services.

 

The four-county MSA includes Brooks, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes counties.

 

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 474 active job postings in metro Valdosta for March.

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