Special to SEGAZINE
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Southern Georgia region increased to 9.0 percent in October, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.6 percent in September. The rate was 9.9 percent in October a year ago.
Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for Southern Georgia fell from 9.3 percent in August to 8.6 percent for September.
The rate rose in October primarily for two reasons – an increase in new layoffs and an increase in the number of unemployed residents.
The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 1,646, up by 243, or 17.3 percent, from 1,403 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by manufacturing and construction, professional and technical services, and arts, entertainment and recreation. There were 2,839 claims in October 2012.
The number of unemployed people in Southern Georgia increased to 15,466, up by 500 from 14,966 in September. There were 17,437 unemployed in October 2012.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 1,363 to 171,913 in October, down from 173,276 in September. The labor force was down by 4,765 from 176,678 in October 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us