Unemployment numbers up across Southwest Georgia

Photo Credit: MGN

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region increased to 9.2 percent in May, up 1.0 percent from 8.2 percent in April. The rate was 9.0 percent in May a year ago.

The rate increased primarily because of an increase in layoffs and the seasonal influx of jobseekers into the labor force, as new graduates began searching for work.

The number of layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, rose by 812, or 39.1 percent, to 2,888 in May from 2,076 in April. The increases came mostly in manufacturing, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. Also, the number of initial claims was up over the year by 1,005, or 53.4 percent, from 1,883 in May 2012. Most of the over-the-year increase came in manufacturing.

The number of people entering the labor force, those employed and actively seeking employment, rose by 1,812 to 162,274 in May from 160,462 in April.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in April. The rate was 9.1 percent in May a year ago.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at

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