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Effingham unemployment rate stays steady

POSTED: January 30, 2014 6:41 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Savannah’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent from November to December, but was down from 8.1 percent in December a year ago.


Effingham County’s unemployment rate for December 2013 was unchanged from November’s mark of 6.0 percent. It was down considerably from the December 2012 rate of 7.4 percent.


While Effingham’s number of unemployed has decreased, by nearly 450, so too has the number of those employed, by almost 500. The labor force has declined by almost 900.


While the unemployment rate was unchanged, the number of jobs in metro Savannah declined by 1,300 to 158,800 in December. The loss was mostly in education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.


However, the over-the-year job numbers show an increase of 300 jobs, or 0.2 percent, since December 2012, when there were 158,500 jobs. Most of the job gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.


The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region decreased to 7.3 percent in December, down by one-tenth of a percentage point from 7.4 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.


The rate declined because there were 274 fewer unemployed residents in December, due primarily to seasonal hiring in trade, transportation and warehousing. The number of unemployed residents declined to 22,718, from 22,992 in November.  In December 2012, there were 27,870 unemployed residents.


The number of new layoffs in Coastal Georgia, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased to 3,180, up by 1,244, or 64.3 percent, from 1,936 in November. Claims increased in several sectors, including transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, manufacturing, and construction. There were 2.903 claims in December 2012.


The metro Savannah number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased to 1,820, up by 663, or 57.3 percent, from 1,157 in November. Claims increased in several sectors, including transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food service, and construction. There were 1,436 claims in December 2012.


Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.2 percent.


Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.

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