Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Wednesday that Polk County’s labor force increased in May.

Polk also posted monthly gains in employed residents, along with a decrease in initial claims, preliminary numbers show.

“In May, we saw much needed growth in our labor force in many local areas,” Butler said. “We also saw more Georgians become employed. Overall, we head into the summer with a good jobs report.”

The unemployment rate rose in May. The rate went up by 0.5 %age points in May, settling at 3.7 %. A year ago, the rate was 3.8 %.

The labor force increased in May by 175. The total was 18,358. That number is down by 175 from the total of May 2018.

Polk ended May with 17,673 employed residents. The number increased by 68 in May but went down by 164 as compared to last May.

The number of unemployment claims decreased in May by about 2 %. When compared to last May, claims were up by about 56%.