The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region increased to 7.9 percent in January, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.8 percent in December. The rate was 9.3 percent in January a year ago.
The rate rose primarily because the labor force increased by 5,277 as new job seekers entered the workforce looking for jobs but were unable to find work immediately.
At the same time, the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, decreased to 2,153, down by 871, or 28.8 percent, from 3,024 in December. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing and construction, accommodations and food services, health care and social assistance, and administrative and support services. There were 2,694 claims in January 2013.
In Metro Albany, the 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.
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.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com