The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in metro Albany rose to 9.7 percent in January, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.4 percent in December. The rate was 10 percent in January 2012.The rate rose because of two primary factors â" a loss of seasonal jobs and an increase in new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits.The number of jobs declined by 800, or 1.3 percent, from 61,500 in December to 60,700 in January. However, metro Albany started the year with 200 more jobs in January than a year ago. Over the year, jobs were up by three-tenths of a percentage point, from 60,500 in January 2012. The job increases came mostly in the service-related industries.The number of initial claims, tied to many of the seasonal layoffs, rose by 499, or 62.5 percent, from 798 to 1,297. Most of the claims were filed in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and warehousing, and administrative and support services. Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region tied for the highest at 11.9. Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 8.7 percent, unchanged from December. The rate was 9.3 percent in January a year ago.Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.usConnect with us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @GeorgiaDOL. You can access all pages via our website at www.dol.state.ga.us.