The Georgia Department of Labor announced that Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate increased to 8.8 percent in May, up six-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2 percent in April. The rate was 10.3 percent in May a year ago.
The rate increase was seasonal, as new graduates entered the labor force looking for full-time work, while other students searched for part-time summer jobs. The labor force rose by 677, up to 57,786 in May from 57,109 in April.
While the rate rose, the number of jobs increased by 400, or 0.6 percent, to 64,100 in May from 63,700 in April. Most of the job increases came in trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with professional and business services and local government.
Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 600, or 0.9 percent, from 63,500 in May 2013. The job gainers were in retail trade and local government.
Also, there were 643 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, a decrease of 291, or 31.2 percent, from 934 in April. Most of the decrease in claims came in administrative and support services, manufacturing and construction, and transportation and warehousing. There were 1,055 claims filed in May 2013.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for May was 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in April. The rate was 8.4 percent in May a year ago.