New year brings drop in state unemployment
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 7.3 percent in January, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.4 percent in December. The rate was 8.6 percent in January a year ago.
"This is the seventh consecutive month that the unemployment rate has declined," said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. "The rate fell because 15,928 more Georgians were employed and the number of new layoffs for January fell to the lowest level in eight years."
There were 58,091 new claims for unemployment insurance, a drop of 7,798, or 11.8 percent, from December. This is the smallest number of claims in January since 2006, when 53,680 claims were filed. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, accommodations and food services, construction, and administrative and support services. There were 71,530 claims in January 2013.
The number of jobs decreased to 4,032,000 in January, down by 56,200, or 1.4 percent, from 4,088,200 in December. However, the loss is significantly fewer that the 76,300 average January job loss for the last five years. The losses came across-the-board in trade, transportation, and warehousing, 19,000; professional and business services, 12,800; government, 5,900; leisure and hospitality, 5,500; construction, 4,100; education and health care, 3,500; financial services, 2,600; and manufacturing, 2,100.
"While we had the traditional December to January job loss, Georgia actually had 80,800 more jobs than in January a year ago, which is a strong gain," said Butler. "And, our employers are adding jobs in several important industries."
There were 3,951,200 jobs in January 2013, and over-the-year, most job sectors showed gains. Most of the increases came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 25,200; leisure and hospitality, 20,400; professional and business services, 16,600; education and health care, 9,500; construction, 6,900; and financial services, 4,900. Government lost 9,600 jobs.