The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the unemployment rate in metro Gainesville rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 5.5 percent in August, up 0.2 percentage points from a revised 5.3 percent in July. The state August rate was 6.3 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from a revised 6 percent in July.
The unemployment rate in metro Gainesville, which includes all of Hall County, is up 2 percentage points for the year, from 3.5 percent in August 2007.
The Georgia Mountains area jobless rate of 5.7 percent in August is up 0.1 percentage points from a revised 5.6 percent in July.
While the unemployment rate is up in metro Gainesville, it is one of only three metro areas in the state to register a job growth.
In Gainesville, the number of jobs in August increased to 78,000 from last year’s 77,600 an addition of 400 or 0.5 percentage points.
Kit Dunlap, president of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce said the increased number of jobs is a bright spot.
"I think it is because our economy is somewhat diverse," Dunlap said. "It’s a good place to live and work."
During the same one-year period, the number of payroll jobs in Georgia decreased by 37,700 or 0.9 percent points.
At present, 310,683 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.
"Finding a new job in this economic environment is going to be difficult," said Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "But, I continue to encourage job seekers to keep the faith and remember that finding a new job is not impossible."