Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Northwest Georgia region set a record high for number of employed for the month of May.

The area also saw an increase in the size of the labor force and a decrease in the unemployment rate – both positive indicators.

“Georgia’s economy remains very strong,” said Butler. “Across the board, the state’s numbers are very positive for the year and many areas continue to set records.”

The number of employed residents in the region grew to 407,704 – an all-time high. This represents an increase of 747 for the month and an increase of 12,329 for the year.

In May, the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region fell 0.2 percent to 3.4 percent, down from 4.6 percent a year ago. This is the third lowest unemployment rate of all 12 regions in the state. The rates vary from a low of 2.9 percent in the Georgia Mountains to 4.5 percent in the River Valley region.

The Northwest Georgia labor force ended May at 422,234. That number is up 103 over the last month and up 7,958 over the last year.

In the Northwest Georgia region, initial claims for unemployment were up about 22 percent for the month but down about 16 percent for the year.

In May, the jobless rate fell to 3.7 percent – an all-time low for Polk County. This was a drop of .2 percent over the previous month. A year ago, the jobless rate was 5.2 percent.

The number of employed residents in Polk County grew to 17,981. This is an increase of 37 for the month and 475 for the year.

Polk County ended May with a labor force of 18,664. That is a decrease of 11 from the previous month but an increase of 204 over the last year.

In May, the number of employed residents in Gordon County grew to 25,995, an increase of 144 for the month and 450 for the year.

Gordon County ended May with a labor force of 26,899. That is an increase of 88 from the previous month and 164 over the last year.

At the same time, the jobless rate fell to 3.4 percent, a drop of .2 percent over the previous month. A year ago, the jobless rate was 4.5 percent.

In the Gordon County, initial claims for unemployment were up about 19 percent for the month but remain flat for the year.

The Northwest Georgia region includes Bartow, Chattooga, Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 2,738 active job postings in the Northwest Georgia region for May.