Monthly Report Shows Largest Job Decline For April Since 2009

Georgia’s economy had a worse-than-usual April, shedding 14,900 jobs, the state’s Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped from 3.9% in March to 3.8% in April, but the dip came for the wrong reason: Roughly 10,000 people left the labor force. And if you are not actively looking for a job, you are not counted as officially unemployed.

“The low unemployment rate, while a nice statistic, is not as encouraging as it seems,” said Brad Dillman, chief economist at Cortland, an Atlanta-based real estate developer. “There’s been little meaningful gain in wages.”

Since the worst of the recession, the Georgia economy has grown by 700,000 jobs, the jobless rate has dropped from a high of 10.6% and the number of unemployed has fallen from half a million to about 195,000, the labor department said.

The next few months could bring more clarity. Georgia almost always adds jobs from May through August. It has not lost jobs in May since 2009, and it has not lost jobs in two consecutive months since 2010.