Published Sunday, January 20, 2013

Georgia's unemployment 8.6 percent in December

From Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

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 Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The rate was 9.4 percent in December a year ago.

“The unemployment rate ticked up slightly because of a combination of factors,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We had a modest increase in new layoffs, along with a small job loss driven primarily by seasonal layoffs in education. Basically, the December numbers are flat, but even so, this is the best November to December job market report since 2007.

“The most important thing to remember from this report is that our unemployment rate is much lower, the pace of new layoffs slower, and the number of jobs significantly larger than a year ago,” Butler continued. “Our economy has definitely improved in the past year.”

While the number of jobs decreased by 400 to 3,985,800 in December, it rose by 70,200, or 1.8 percent, from 3,915,600 in December 2011. Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 26,000; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 17,300; education and health care, 12,700; leisure and hospitality, 12,100; and manufacturing 11,800.

“In December, there were 362,800 manufacturing jobs in Georgia, which is the most since April 2009,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “More than 15,000 of those jobs have been created since December 2010. After years of decline, the growth we’ve had over the past two years indicates that Georgia’s manufacturing base is alive and beginning to thrive again. This is a great step closer to making Georgia the No. 1 place in the country to do business.”

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits increased to 50,861, up by 3,510, or 7.4 percent, from 47,351 in November.

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