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Gainesville's jobless rate rises to 7 percent
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Unemployment in the Gainesville area reached 7 percent in December, up 3.4 percentage points from the previous year, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Gainesville’s jobless rate rose six-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.4 percent in November. The number of jobs in December dropped 700, or nine-tenths of one percentage point, from 77,900 to 77,200. The number of jobs in metro Gainesville declined 200 from November to December. The metro Gainesville area is all of Hall County.

The unemployment rate in the Georgia Mountains region, which also includes Hall County, rose to 7.3 percent, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from November.

Georgia’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, hit 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate since March 1983 and above the national rate of 7.2 percent. That translates to 393,168 unemployed Georgians looking for work, with 156,719, or 40 percent, drawing unemployment insurance benefits.

Over the last year, the number of payroll jobs in Georgia dropped by 121,800, or 2.9 percent. Jobs were lost in manufacturing, construction, and trade, along with professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies. Jobs were added in health care, education and with the federal government.

Unemployment in metro Atlanta rose to 7.6 percent in December, up 3.1 percentage points from the previous year.

The state’s highest jobless rate in December was Dalton at 11.2 percent. The lowest was Athens’ 6.1 percent rate.

Rome’s rate was 8.0 percent, Augusta and Macon each 7.8 percent, Columbus 7.7 percent and Savannah 6.6 percent.

Georgia labor market data are available at