The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region rose to 9.2 percent in December, up five-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in November. The rate was 9.3 percent in December 2011.
The rate rose because there were 160 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, wholesale and retail trade, and accommodations and food services. While the initial claims were up from November to December, they were down by 329, or 14.8 percent, from 2,230 in December 2011. The decline in claims led to an over-the-year drop in the area's jobless rate.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in November. The rate was 9.4 percent in December a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us
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