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Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate rises four-tenths of a percentage point

Unemployment rate in metro Atlanta rose to 8.4 percent last month. Among the core metro counties, Cobb and Gwinnett tied for the lowest rates at 7.6 percent in December. Next came DeKalb (8.9 percent), Fulton (9.3 percent) and Clayton (10.6 percent).

A week after announcing that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had increased one-tenth of a percentage point in December, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Atlanta rose four-tenths of a percentage point in December 2012.

It rose to 8.4 percent in last month, which is still down from the rate of 8.9 percent that it was a year ago in December 2011. The state’s jobless rate increased to 8.6 percent last month, as both Georgia and metro Atlanta’s rates are higher than the current national rate of 7.8 percent.

Do you have the feeling the economy is moving in the right direction despite the unemloyment rate increases last month? Let us know in the comment section below, please.

The increase in metro Atlanta was due to a combination of factors according to GDOL including a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits and an increase in the labor force, as more people began searching for work.

The labor force, those employed or actively searching for a job, increased by 6,174, rising from 2,749,348 to 2,755,522 in December. The new jobseekers are counted as unemployed until they get work.

There were 115 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and accommodations and food services.

While the initial claims were up from November to December, they were down by 4,916, or 18.3 percent, from 26,828 in December 2011. The decline in claims led to an over-the-year drop in the area’s jobless rate.

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.

Looking at the core metro counties, Cobb and Gwinnett tied for the lowest rates at 7.6 percent in December. Next came DeKalb (8.9 percent), Fulton (9.3 percent) and Clayton (10.6 percent).

-The Georgia Department of Labor contributed to this story

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