NW Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 9.0 percent in Dec. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NW Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 9.0 percent in December

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ATLANTA, GA (WRCB) -- The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region rose to 9.0 percent in December, up six-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4 percent in November. The rate was 9.5 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 739 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services. While the initial claims were up from November to December, they were down by 3,436, or 35.6 percent, from 9,656 in December 2011. The decline in claims led to an over-the-year drop in the area's jobless rate.

The labor force, those employed or actively searching for a job, increased by 1,056, rising from 413,034 to 414,090 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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