From Staff Reports
The unemployment rate for Metro Dalton — Whitfield and Murray counties — increased to 8.8 percent in May, up from 8.2 percent in April, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday.
The rate was 10.3 percent in May a year ago.
The department said the increased rate was “seasonal” because of new graduates looking for full-time work, while students pursued part-time summer jobs. The labor force rose by 677, up to 57,786 in May from 57,109 in April.
Although the rate rose, the number of jobs actually increased by 400, or 0.6 percent, to 64,100 in May from 63,700 in April, the department said. It said most of the job increases came in the areas of “trade, transportation and warehousing, along with professional and business services and local government.”
Year over year, the number of jobs increased by 600, or 0.9 percent, from 63,500 in May 2013. Those gains were in retail trade and local government.
There were 643 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, a decrease of 291, or 31.2 percent, from 934 in April, the department said. Most of the decrease in claims came in administrative and support services, manufacturing and construction, and transportation and warehousing. There were 1,055 claims filed in May 2013.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
The unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region increased to 7.4 percent in May, up from 6.6 percent in April. The rate was 8.3 percent in May a year ago.
Northwest Georgia includes 15 counties: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in April. The rate was 8.4 percent in May of last year.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.