The jobs picture in Northeast Georgia continues to head in the wrong direction.
Unemployment in the metro Gainesville area reached 8.3 percent in January, according to data reported today by the Georgia Department of Labor. That's up 1.3 percentage points from December's figure of 7 percent, and a full four percentage points more than in January 2008.
The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains region rose the same amount and stands at 8.6 percent.
Gainesville's numbers still are a bit below the state's record-high rate of 8.6 percent in January, which is up 3.4 percentage points from the previous year's 5.2 percent. It is the highest sesonally adjusted jobless rate in Georgia since the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics began recording standardized rates among the states in 1976.
There are 412,770 unemployed Georgians seeking work, an increase of 62.9 percent over last year. Of those, 183,829, 44.5 percent, are receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
The local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.