Posted: Thursday, January 30th 2014 at 6:16am
NE Ga.'s jobless rate rises in Dec., Gainesville metro rate drops
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia region increased to 6.4 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in November. The rate was 7.9 percent in December a year ago.
The rate rose primarily because the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 3,824, up by 2,253, or 143.4 percent, from 1,571 in November. Claims increased in several sectors, including manufacturing, administrative and support services, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and construction. There were 2,549 claims in December 2012.
According to Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.7 percent in December, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 5.9 percent in November. The rate was 7.2 percent in December a year ago.
The rate dropped primarily because 136 more Gainesville residents were employed in December, mostly due to seasonal hiring in retail trade, transportation and warehousing.
The number of jobs in metro Gainesville declined by 400 to 76,300 in December. The loss was mostly in services and goods producing. However, the over-the-year job numbers show an increase of 1,100 jobs, or 1.5 percent, since December 2012, when there were 75,200 jobs. Most of the job gains came in the service-related industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing, according to DOL information.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.
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