The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday morning that Metro Albany's unemployment rate decreased to 8.0 percent in January, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2 percent in December. Albany was one of three of the 14 metro areas where the rate declined in January. The rate was 9.7 percent in January a year ago.
The rate declined primarily because the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, decreased in January to 895, down by 610, or 40.5 percent, from 1,505 in December. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, and construction. There were 1,297 claims in January 2013.
At the same time, the number of jobs in Metro Albany decreased to 60,700, down by 1,400, or 2.3 percent, from 62,100 in December. Most of the losses came in trade, transportation, and warehousing (400), state government (300), and the goods-producing sector (100), which includes manufacturing and construction. There were 60,600 jobs in the area in January 2013.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in December. The rate was 8.6 percent in January a year ago.