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Area Unemployment Rate Up
Thursday, 24 January 2013

January 24--  The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region rose to 11.4 percent in December, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 10.6 percent in November. The rate was 11.2 percent in December 2011.

The rate rose because of a combination of factors – a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits and an increase in the labor force, as more people began searching for work

There were 168 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, retail trade, administrative and support services, and health care and social assistance. While the initial claims were up from November to December, they were also up by 466, or 23.5 percent, from 1,979 in December 2011.

The labor force, those employed or actively searching for a job, increased by 446, rising from 124,316 to 124,762 in December. The new jobseekers are counted as unemployed until they get work.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in November. The rate was 9.4 percent in December 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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