ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced this week that the preliminary unemployment rate in Northwest Georgia rose to 9.8 percent in January, up three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.5 percent in December. The jobless rate in Northwest Georgia in January a year ago was 11.3 percent.
Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.1 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.
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Pickens County’s recorded unemployment rate in this same period was 9.3 percent, very slightly over the state average, but much better than neighboring counties to the north. Gilmer’s rate was 11.1 percent and Fannin’s 10.5.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the sixth month in a row to 9.2 percent in January, the lowest rate since March of 2009 when it was 9.1 percent. That is a decline of two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.4 percent in December. The jobless rate was 10.1 percent in January a year ago.
Statewide, the rate went down because about 13,000 more Georgians were employed in January than in December. Also, newly revised numbers show that Georgia gained 83,700 jobs in the last 12 months. This is the largest January to January job growth since 2006.
Among the sectors showing growth over the year, professional and businesses services gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade gained 15,100, health care and social assistance grew by 11,100, and manufacturing gained 7,300.
Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us