ATLANTA – State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that metro Atlanta closed out 2017 with a record-high number of jobs.

The 29-county metropolitan statistical area (MSA) ended the year with more than 55,000 new jobs, almost 90,000 more employed residents and a much larger work force. Unemployment fell by .9 percent.  Atlanta ranked No. 1 in Georgia for job creation among 14 MSAs tracked by the GDOL.

“This is a very good year for the Atlanta area,” Butler said. “All of the major indicators trended in the right direction. In fact, records were set.  I’m expecting the same will continue in 2018.”

In December metro Atlanta added 1,200 new jobs. The area ended the year with a record high 2,791,400 jobs, growth of 55,600 over 12 months. The previous record high was 2,790,200 in November. Most of the yearly job growth came in:

  • professional and business services, 16,200;
  • education and health services, 13,300;
  • leisure and hospitality, 7,100;
  • construction, 5,800;
  • government, 4,500;
  • financial activities, 3,200;
  • services, 2,400; and
  • information technology, 1,400.

Manufacturing lost 1,200 jobs.

The metro area also added 4,901 more employed residents last month. For the year, metro Atlanta posted 2,927,274 employed residents, up by 89,946 from last January.

Metro Atlanta’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, grew by 4,162 in December. The MSA added 68,210 to the labor force over the year, ending with Georgia’s largest at 3,053,437.

In December, 11,317 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, up by 4.1 percent from the previous month. Claims are down by 21 percent when compared to the same month a year earlier. The annual decrease in claims came in several industries, including administrative and support services, construction and manufacturing, and trade, transportation and warehousing.

Meanwhile, the metro area’s unemployment rate fell from 5 percent to 4.1 over the 12-month cycle. The December rate, at 4.1 percent, was down from the previous month by .1 percent.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed 32,026 new active job postings in metro Atlanta at year’s end.

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Counties included in the MSA are Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.