From Staff Reports
The unemployment rate in metro Dalton rose to 11.9 percent in January, up from 11 percent in December 2012, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate was 12.8 percent in January 2012.
Metro Dalton includes Whitfield and Murray counties.
The rate rose because of two primary factors: a loss of seasonal jobs and an increase in new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits.
The number of jobs declined by 600 (or 1 percent) from 63,400 in December to 62,800 in January.
The number of initial claims, tied to many of the seasonal layoffs, rose by 2,591 (or 146.3 percent) from 1,771 to 4,362. Most of the claims were filed in manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation, warehousing and administrative and support services. However, the number of initial claims is down by 492 from January 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia region had the highest at 11.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 8.7 percent, unchanged from December. The rate was 9.3 percent in January 2012.