The unemployment rate in metro Gainesville increased to 6.6 percent in October, the Georgia Department of Labor announced today.
The jobless rate was up three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in September. The rate was 7.1 percent in October a year ago.
Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for the Gainesville area, which includes all of Hall County, fell from 6.6 percent in August to 6.3 percent for September.
The Labor Department report states the rate rose in October primarily for two reasons: an increase in new layoffs and an increase in the number of unemployed residents.
The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased to 617, up by 49, or 8.6 percent, from 568 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by construction and health care and social assistance. There were 910 claims in October 2012.
The number of unemployed people in Gainesville increased to 5,962, up by 230 from 5,732 in September. There were 6,476 unemployed in October 2012.
While the jobless rate was up, the number of jobs rose to 76,500, up by 300, or 0.4 percent, from 76,200 in September. Most of the jobs were added in retail trade and local government.
Over the year, the number of jobs was up by 1,200, or 1.6 percent, from 75,300 in October 2012. Most of the increase came in the service-related industries and the goods producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 715 to 90,137 in October, down from 90,852 in September. The labor force was down by 1,208 from 91,345 in October 2012.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October a year ago.
The rate in the Georgia Mountains region was 6.8 percent in October, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.5 percent in September. The rate was 7.5 percent in October 2012.
Statewide, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent.