The rate was an increase from 6.4 percent in December. The number of unemployed county residents increased from 4,608 in December to 4,721 in January.
Georgia Department of Labor spokesman John Ard said a loss of seasonal jobs in retail trade, at hotels and motels, and eating and drinking establishments in the metro Atlanta area in January affected the county’s unemployment rate.
Paulding Chamber of Commerce President Carolyn Wright said she also believed the increase in the county’s unemployment rate was seasonal.
“To my knowledge, no businesses closed,” she said.
Retail stores and restaurants typically pay most employees comparatively low wages and, in the case of retail, employment can fluctuate based on the season.
Wright said a high percentage of Paulding-based jobs, other than institutional employers like the public school system and county government, were in retail and restaurants. Three of every four Paulding workers travel to jobs outside the county, studies have shown.
“That’s why we need jobs and … good-paying jobs,” Wright said.
Wright and some county governmental officials last week worked to recruit potential new employers.at the Modex 2014 trade show in Atlanta. More than 800 exhibitors, including new Paulding conveyor system maker Interroll, provided information and demonstrations on new manufacturing and supply chain equipment and technologies.
The state labor department also reported the county’s labor force shrank from 72,339 in December to 71,730 in January. The labor force is the total of all residents employed or actively seeking work.
In addition, the number of initial filings for jobless benefits increased by 16 over the month in Paulding County. There were 489 initial claims filed in December and 505 initial claims filed in January, Ard said.
Paulding industries including retail trade, administrative and support services, and finance and insurance saw increases in initial jobless claims over the month, he said.