Special to the Journal
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany’s unemployment rate increased to 8.8 percent in October, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in September. The rate was 9.3 percent in October a year ago.
Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for Albany fell from 9.1 percent in August to 8.5 percent for September.
The rate rose in October primarily for two reasons – an increase in new layoffs and an increase in the number of unemployed residents.
The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 870, up by 258, or 42.2 percent, from 612 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by manufacturing and construction, administrative and support services, and trade, transportation and warehousing. There were 760 claims in October 2012.
The number of unemployed people in Albany increased to 6,404, up by 186 from 6,218 in September. There were 6,986 unemployed in October 2012.
While the jobless rate was up, employers added jobs in October. There were 61,800 jobs in metro Albany, up by 600, or 1.0 percent, from 61,200 in September. Most of the new jobs were added in the private sector, including services such as trade and transportation.
Over the year, jobs were up by 200, or 0.3 percent, from 61,600 in October 2012. Most of the increase came in trade and transportation.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 319 to 72,809 in October, down from 73,128 in September. The labor force was down by 2,204 from 75,013 in October 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October 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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