Unemployment on the rise in Albany

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The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany's unemployment rate increased to 9.5 percent in May, up nine-tenths of a percentage point from 8.6 percent in April. The rate was also 9.5 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 new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, rose by 495, or 50.3 percent, to 1,479 in May from 984 in April. The increases came mostly in manufacturing and accommodations and food services. Also, the number of initial claims was up over the year by 556, or 60.2 percent, from 923 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 367 to 73,790 in May from 73,423 in April.

The number of jobs decreased by 400, or six-tenths of a percentage point, to 60,800, down from 61,200 in April. Most of the job losses came in state education and federal government and the service-related industries. Over-the-year, 300 jobs were lost, mostly in local government and trade and transportation.

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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