The unemployment rate rose from 7.5 percent in November to 8.0 percent in December. This is the first increase in unemployment since June 2012, said state labor analyst Corey L. Smith.
“The rate increased as the number of employed Paulding County residents dropped by 149 from November to December,” Smith said in an email.
A total of 68,204 were employed in December, down slightly from 68,353 in November.
The number of unemployed residents jumped by 410, Smith said. Paulding had 5,554 unemployed residents in November and 5,964 unemployed in December. There have been no major recent closings in Paulding County, said Jamie Gilbert, executive director of Paulding Economic Development. The increase could stem from 75 percent of Paulding residents working outside the county, and hiring tending to slow down the week after Christmas, he said.
“I would not pay too much attention to a one-month jump,” Gilbert said. Smith said initial claims for unemployment benefits came from industries such as retail trade, transportation, warehousing, real estate and rental companies. The number of claims was six residents higher than in November, from 481 to 487 in December, he said.
“In December 2011 the unemployment rate in Paulding County was 8.5 percent and 650 initial claims for jobless benefits were filed,” Smith said.
Surrounding counties all saw an increase in unemployment rates, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The rates include Polk County at 8.6 percent, Haralson at 8.5, Douglas at 8.8 percent, Cobb at 7.6., Carroll at 8.9 and Bartow at 8.6 percent.