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Jobless rate for metro area rises

POSTED: December 2, 2013 8:57 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor has announced that metro Savannah’s unemployment rate increased to 7.5 percent in October, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in September. The rate was 8 percent in October a year ago.


The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region increased to 8.3 percent in October, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 7.9 percent in September. The rate was 8.6 percent in October a year ago.


Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for the Coastal region fell from 8.5 percent in August to 7.9 percent for September.


Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for Savannah fell from 7.8 percent in August to 7.3 percent for September.


The rate rose in October primarily for two reasons — an increase in new layoffs and an increase in the number of unemployed residents.


The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 1,245, up by 42, or 3.5 percent, from 1,203 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by administrative and support services, retail trade and construction. There were 1,520 claims in October 2012.


The number of unemployed people in Savannah increased to 13,385, up by 423 from 12,962 in September. There were 14,576 unemployed in October 2012.


While the rate rose, the number of jobs increased to 159,600, up by 1,600, or 1.0 percent, from 158,000 in September. Most of the jobs were added in professional and business services, retail trade, and local government.


And, over the year, the number of jobs was up by 1,200, or 0.8 percent, from 158,400 in October 2012. Most of the jobs were added in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.


The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 443 to 178,264 in October from 178,707 in September. The labor force was down by 5,039 from 183,303 in October 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent.


Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October a year ago.

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