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      Unemployment in Southwest Georgia increases for July

      The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday morning via press release that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia area rose to 10 percent in July, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.7 percent in June. The rate was 10.3 percent in July 2011 while Albany's rate rose to 10.5 percent in July, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 10.3 percent in June.

      The rate in Southwest Georgia increased because there were 124 new layoffs in manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and health care and social assistance.

      Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 7.4 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.5 percent. Athens has had the lowest area rate, or tied for the lowest, each month since December 2009. Dalton has had the highest area rate since August 2011.

      Meanwhile, Georgia TMs seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.3 percent in July, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in June. The jobless rate was 10 percent in July a year ago.

      The number of jobs in the state dropped by 17,900, or five-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,931,900 in June to 3,914,000 in July. There were 20,600 jobs lost among seasonal workers in the local public schools, but some of that loss was offset because the private sector added 5,600 jobs.In metro Albany, jobs decreased to 59,300, down by 900 from June, but up by 300 from 59,000 in July 2011.