The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) was established in 1911. Known then as the Department of Commerce and Labor, it had broad authority over industrial and occupational safety and administration of labor laws. The Wagner-Peyser Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1935, mandated a federal-state partnership for operation of employment service agencies. As a result, the Georgia General Assembly enacted the Employment Security Law of 1937, officially creating a Georgia Department of Labor. The agency was placed under control of an elected commissioner. 

As architects of opportunity and guardians of economic empowerment, the GDOL delivers caring, responsive service to Georgians when they need it most.

Programs such as Unemployment Insurance (UI), along with supportive reemployment services that fit the diverse needs of our communities, serve as a vital support system for individuals and families as they rebuild their lives after an unexpected job loss.

At the Georgia Department of Labor, we're here for all of Georgia, creating an environment where workers and employers thrive together.

Under the leadership of State Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson, the GDOL consists of the following divisions and offices: Unemployment Insurance, and Workforce Statistics & Economic Research. Also, the Georgia Department of Labor has a network of local Career Centers throughout the state. 

State Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson is the tenth person to hold the office. He took the oath of office on January 12, 2023. 

Previous commissioners were Ben Huiet, 1938-67; Sam Caldwell, 1967-84; Joe Tanner, 1984-90; Ray Hollingsworth, 1990-91; Al Scott, 1991-92; David Poythress, 1992-98; Marti Fullerton, 1998-99; Michael L. Thurmond, 1999-2011; and Mark Butler, 2011-2023.

The Department of Labor is charged with the following areas of responsibility:

  • To refer workers in need of additional skills into the proper job training program.
  • To administer the state's unemployment insurance program.
  • To gather, maintain, and report labor market information.
  • To administer laws relating to child labor.