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Area jobless rate rises to 7.7 percent in October
by Noreen Cochran
December 10, 2013 04:14 PM | 1212 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate took a roller coaster ride between August and October, but the Georgia Department of Labor did not report its September plunge from 8.0 to 7.4 percent until Nov. 28.

“This month is a little bit different how we’re reporting due to the federal government shutdown,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement about the Oct. 1 to 17 hiatus. “We were not able to report September numbers.”

Those numbers experienced an uptick to 7.7 percent in October.

“It was mainly due to the fact that we saw initial claims increase,” Butler said about new layoffs, “and an increase in unemployed individuals.”

Stockbridge saw a jump from 9.6 percent in September to 10.2 in October.

About 1,330 residents were jobless, with about 11,840 going to work daily.

Henry County’s rate increased from 7.5 percent in September to 8.0.

County-wide, nearly 8,500 individuals were jobless while 97,850 were gainfully employed.

Their rates are improvements over last year, though, when Stockbridge suffered a 10.8 rate and 1,400 jobless persons and the county was up to 8.7 percent unemployment, with nearly 9,500 out of work.

In other metro Atlanta counties, the new figures are 10.0 in Clayton, 7.0 in Cobb, 8.5 in DeKalb, 7.0 in Fayette, 8.4 in Fulton and 6.9 in Gwinnett.

Regionally, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent. Even with October’s bump upward, the results are better than the same month in 2012.

“This time last year, the unemployment rate in that area was 8.5 percent,” Butler said. “A lot of that is due to the fact that we actually saw October have a very good month when it comes to job gains. We saw the Atlanta area gain over 15,000 jobs.”

He said the comparisons continue to inspire confidence in the economy. “If you take a look at over the year job growth for the Atlanta area, we actually had the best over-the-year job growth for October since 2006. So we’re seeing very positive signs,” Butler said.

Jobs grew over a range of businesses, he said.

“It’s a pretty broad area. We saw most, if not all, areas gain jobs last month,” Butler said. “Construction continued to gain jobs, in the Atlanta area, trade and transportation, and obviously, retail.”

Over the year, jobs were up by 63,300, or 2.7 percent, from 2,371,100 in October 2012.

There were 2,434,400 jobs, up by 15,300, or 0.6 percent, from 2,419,100 in September.

According to department spokesman Sam Hall, the “big job gainers” statewide were in professional and business services, 16,500; trade and transportation, 13,400; education and health care, 10,700; leisure and hospitality, 9,900; and construction, 8,500.

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