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Hall unemployment rate rises to 4.8 percent
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Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate in January ticked up to 4.8 percent, six-tenths of a percentage point higher than in December. In January 2016, the rate was 4.5 percent.

The metro Gainesville statistics released by the Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday cover all of Hall County.

The rate rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased. These are normal seasonal fluctuations for January.

The number of jobs decreased by 1,200, or 1.4 percent, to 87,500. The job losses came in the service industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing.

However, over the year, 2,900 jobs were added, a 3.4 percent growth rate, up from 84,600 in January 2016. Job growth came in the service industries and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 688, or 125.8 percent, to 1,235. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, along with trade, transportation and warehousing. Over the year, claims were up by 266, or 27.5 percent, from 969 in January 2016.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs, grew by 167 to 97,813. The number of unemployed residents rose by 566 to 4,649, while the number of employed residents decreased by 399 to 93,164. Over the year, the number of people in the labor force increased by 3,602, as the number of employed grew by 3,177 and the number of unemployed increased by 425.

Metro Gainesville and the Georgia Mountains region had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.8 percent, while the Three Rivers region had the highest at 7.4 percent.