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. 

The Georgia Department of Labor provides a wide range of services to job seekers and employers. These include administration of Georgia's unemployment insurance, employment service, provision of workforce information to the public and private sectors, and oversight of child labor issues. 

Our mission is to work with public and private partners in building a workforce system that contributes to Georgia's economic prosperity. We accomplish this by:

  • Helping individuals attain their work goals and increase self-sufficiency through employment, training, and support services.
  • Helping employers meet their business needs through employee recruitment and selection services, workforce information, and technical support. 

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 assist those who are seeking jobs in their quest for satisfactory and productive placement and to aid employers in the search for qualified workers.
  • 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.