State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that 2017 was a banner year for job creation, employment and workforce gains in metro Brunswick.
The three-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes Brantley, Glynn, and McIntosh counties, ended the year with 600 new jobs, a thousand more employed residents and a much larger workforce. The unemployment rate dropped .9 percent. Brunswick, along with Dalton and Valdosta, ranked seventh in Georgia for job creation among 14 MSAs tracked by the GDOL.
“This is a very good year for the Brunswick area,” Butler said. “All of the major indicators trended in the right direction. I’m expecting the same will continue in 2018.”
In December metro Brunswick added 200 new jobs. The area ended the year with 44,400, a growth of 600 since last Jan. 1. Most of the job growth came in the service industries, federal and state government, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
The metro area also added 293 more employed residents last month. At year’s end, metro Brunswick posted 50,632 employed residents, up by 1,147 during 2017.
Metro Brunswick’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, grew by 299 in December. Brunswick ended the year with a labor force of 52,948, an increase of 701 over 12 months.
In December 326 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, up by 37 percent from the previous month. Claims are down by 12 percent from a year ago. Most of the annual decrease in claims came in health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, and transportation and warehousing.
Meanwhile, the metro area’s unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent to 4.4 over the 12-month cycle. The December rate, at 4.4 percent, was unchanged from the previous month.