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Metro Savannah jobless rate rises to 8.9 percent

POSTED: March 15, 2012 10:14 p.m.

ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Savannah rose to 8.9 percent in January, up two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 8.7 percent in December. The jobless rate in metro Savannah in January a year ago was 9.4 percent.

The state Department of Labor also announced that the preliminary unemployment rate in Coastal Georgia rose to 9.4 percent in January, up two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.2 percent in December. The jobless rate in Coastal Georgia in January a year ago was 9.8 percent.

Unemployment for January stood at 7.8 percent in Effingham County. Effingham is one of 22 counties in the state with a jobless rate below 8 percent.

Oconee County had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent while unemployment was highest in Chattahoochee County, at 19.3 percent, for January.

The rate increased because there were layoffs in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.1 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the sixth month in a row to 9.2 percent in January, the lowest rate since March of 2009 when it was 9.1 percent. That is a decline of two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.4 percent in December. The jobless rate was 10.1 percent in January a year ago.

Statewide, the rate went down because about 13,000 more Georgians were employed in January than in December. Also, newly revised numbers show that Georgia gained 83,700 jobs in the last 12 months. This is the largest January to January job growth since 2006.

Among the sectors showing growth over the year, professional and businesses services gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade gained 15,100, health care and social assistance grew by 11,100, and manufacturing gained 7,300.

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