ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany’s unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.1 percent in November. The rate was 9.4 percent in December a year ago. Meanwhile, there was no change for the rest of Southwest Georgia for the same period
The rate in Metro Albany rose primarily because the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 1,505, up by 731, or 94.4 percent, from 774 in November. Claims increased in several sectors, including manufacturing, construction, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. There were 798 claims in December 2012. The number of new layoffs for the rest of the region increased to 3,024, up by 1,639, or 118.3 percent, from 1,385 in November. Claims increased in many of the same sectors as the metro area, including manufacturing and construction but also trade, transportation, and warehousing, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. There were 1,901 claims in December 2012.
The number of jobs in Metro Albany declined in December to 62,000, a loss of 300 jobs mostly service-related industries. However, Metro Albany had an increase of 500 jobs, or 0.8 percent, since December 2012, when there were 61,500 jobs. Most of the gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing. Throughout the rest of the region, the rate was unchanged due primarily to seasonal hiring in trade, transportation, and warehousing pushed the number of employed residents up by 219 to 144,423 from 144,204 in November. There were 148,531 employed residents in December 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.