Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Columbus recorded its lowest ever unemployment rate in September.

According to preliminary data, Columbus saw fewer initial unemployment claims filed, along with an increase in the number of employed residents across the five-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

“September was a really remarkable month in our local communities,” Butler said. “Four MSAs hit their lowest all-time unemployment rate. All 12 added to their total number of employed residents. Some set records for jobs or labor force. It’s good to see most of our communities around the state performing so well.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points in September to 3.5 percent. The nation also grew its labor force, increased the number of employed residents and added more 130,000 jobs.

Georgia’s unemployment rate also fell 0.1 percentage points in September to reach 3.5 percent.  A year ago, Georgia’s unemployment rate sat at 3.7 percent. The state’s all-time low of 3.4 percent was set in December 2000.

Rates fell across all 14 of Georgia’s 14 MSAs. Four set records for lowest rates ever.

In Columbus, the unemployment rate decreased 0.7 percentage points in September, reaching 3.6 percent. A year ago, the rate was 4.2 percent.

Columbus ended September with 122,000 jobs. That’s a decrease of 100 jobs over the month and a decrease of 600 jobs when compared to the same time a year ago.

The labor force decreased in September by 80. The total was 122,728. That number has gone down by 1,323 when compared to September of 2018.

Columbus ended September with 118,286 employed residents.  That number increased by 729 over the month but decreased by 519 when compared to the same time a year ago.

The number of unemployment claims went down by about 15 percent in September. When compared to last September, claims were down by about 36 percent.

The five-county MSA includes the Georgia counties of Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion and Muscogee and Russell in Alabama.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed about 3,275 active job postings in metro Columbus for September.

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