Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Northwest Georgia region’s number of employed increased in June, hitting an all-time high.


The labor force also jumped as summer job seekers hit the market. With the labor force growing faster than could be absorbed through hiring, the unemployment rate ticked up for the month.


Still, all indicators remain positive for the year.


The commissioner explained that despite an increase in the unemployment rate, he remains confident about the overall job market.


“The Georgia job market is very strong,” said Butler. “An increase in the unemployment rate is common this time of year due to an increase in high school and college graduates entering the workforce.”


The Northwest Georgia labor force ended June at 426,744, up 11,253 over the last year. That number is up 4,006 over the last month, more than four times the monthly average increase over the year.


As a result of this spike in the labor force, the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region increased by .7 percent to 4.1 percent. It was 4.9 percent a year ago. The rates in Georgia’s 12 regions vary from a low of 3.6 percent in the Georgia Mountains to 5.2 percent in the River Valley and Heart of Georgia regions.


The number of employed residents in the region grew to 409,104, an all-time high. This is up 902 from the previous month and up 14,079 for the year.


In the Northwest Georgia region, initial claims for unemployment were down about 8 percent for the month and down about 7 percent 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 showed 1,854 active job postings in the Northwest Georgia region for June.