March 13, 2014

Area jobless rate up slightly

From Staff Reports

— Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate increased to 9.5 percent in January, from 9.4 percent in December 2013, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate was 11.9 percent in January 2013.

Metro Dalton is Murray and Whitfield counties.

 The rate rose primarily because the number of jobs in Metro Dalton decreased to 62,900, down 700 (1.1 percent) from 63,600 in December. Most of the losses came in trade, transportation, warehousing (400) and manufacturing (200). There were 62,700 jobs in the area in January 2013. Although the metro area lost jobs in January, the loss was less than the average January loss of 1,000 jobs for the last five years.

At the same time, the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, decreased in January to 3,541, down by 742, or 17.3 percent, from 4,283 in December. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, health care and social assistance, and administrative and support services. There were 4,362 claims in January 2013.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.  

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in December. The rate was 8.6 percent in January a year ago.