Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3% to 4.5% in March, the state Department of Labor said Friday, which is far below the national average of 6.0%.

“Georgia’s economy is firing on all cylinders as a result of our balanced approach in protecting both lives and livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. While we still have a ways to go, our unemployment rate has now dropped for 11 straight months and is well below the national average.”

The total number of jobs rose 21,800 to 4,486,000 last month from February with the total number of residents employed rising by 564,000 compared to April of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“March is yet another month where we have seen job growth throughout the state,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “EmployGeorgia is showing triple the amount of job listings that we were seeing at the start of pandemic. Georgia has gained a vast majority of the jobs that were lost since March of last year, and we continue to remain strong in economic growth and business development.”

Of the over 223,000 jobs listed on the state’s EmployGeorgia website, over half of them have annual salaries of over $40,000 and many employers say they will train qualified candidates and help them get proper credentials.

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included administrative and support services, health care, local government, finance and insurance and professional, scientific and technical services.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has paid out almost $20.6 billion in state and federal benefits.

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