The local jobs picture continues to improve overall despite month-to-month variance in the unemployment rate.
Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate for January was 5.2 percent, up from 5 percent in December but well below the rate of 6 percent in January 2014. It still ranked as the state’s lowest rate in the regions measured by the Georgia Department of Labor.
The rate increased as the metro area lost 1,100 mostly temporary and part-time jobs related to the holiday season, the Labor Department said. The number of jobs in metro Gainesville/Hall County declined to 81,200, down from 82,300 in December. Most of the job loss was in the service-related industries, including trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with state government.
Yet the yearly gain was 3,500 jobs, up from 77,700 in January 2014. Most of those gains came in the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, along with retail trade, transportation, and warehousing.
Although there was a loss of mainly holiday-related jobs, the number of new claims for unemployment decreased to 921, a drop of 87, or 8.6 percent, from 1,008 in December. Most of the decrease in claims came in administrative and support services, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing and construction. Over the year, claims were up by 84, or 10 percent, from 837 filed in January 2014.
The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains region in January was 5.6 percent, up from 5.3 percent in December and below the January 2014 rate of 6.4 percent. The region’s rate rose as the number of unemployed residents increased by 720 to 16,927. Each year in January, some people lose temporary or part-time jobs related to the holidays.
The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the state’s highest jobless rate at 8.3 percent. Metro Atlanta’s was 6.2 percent.
Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.4 percent, down from 6.6 percent in December. It was 7.3 percent in January 2014.