The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Dalton’s unemployment rate increased to 12.3 percent in July, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 11.6 percent in June. The rate was 11.9 percent in July a year ago.
The rate rose because of an increase in new layoffs, growth in the labor force and a decrease in the number of jobs.
The number of layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased by 1,301, or 132.3 percent, to 2,284 from 983 in June. Most were temporary layoffs in manufacturing. In July 2012, there were 1,716 claims.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose by 269 to 59,783 from 59,514 in June. There were 59,989 in the labor force in July 2012.
The number of jobs declined by 600 to 62,900 in July, compared to 63,500 in June. Most of the loss resulted from temporary layoffs in textile manufacturing, with other losses in state and local government. The Dalton area has gained 200 jobs since the 62,700 jobs in July 2012. The annual gains came mostly in professional and business services and trade and transportation.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.9 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region tied for the highest at 12.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 8.8 percent, up from 8.5 percent in June. The rate was 9.1 percent in July a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us