ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia ended 2019 with an unemployment rate of 3.2%, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Friday, marking the state’s lowest unemployment rate on record.

That’s down from 3.7% a year earlier.

“Georgia closed out 2019 on a very high note,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement.

The state added nearly 70,000 jobs in 2019, including about 4,000 in December, for a total of 4.65 million.

Job growth was particularly strong in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and trade, transportation and utilities. Those three sectors combined made up nearly three quarters of the yearly growth in jobs.

Employment also climbed. Georgia counted 4.97 million employed residents at the end of 2019, an increase of nearly 47,000 for the year.

Georgia’s workforce grew by nearly 18,000 people in 2019, ending the year with a labor force of 5.13 million. But Butler said that the state’s labor force needed to expand at a faster pace. “Right now, we are growing jobs three times as fast,” Butler said.

Despite the rosy job figures, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is asking lawmakers to make some painful budget cuts because of lagging state revenue collections.

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