The May rate was up from 5.9 percent in April, primarily due to an increase of 783 people in the labor force, as graduates and other students entered the job market looking for either full-time or summer-time work, said Georgia Department of Labor spokesman John Ard.
The labor force, which is the total of all Paulding residents working or actively seeking work, rose from 72,180 in April to 72,963 in May. The total of all unemployed increased from 4,281 in April to 4,987 in May.
An increase in initial claims for jobless benefits in the health care and social assistance, educational services and retail trade sectors also contributed to the rise in the jobless rate, Ard said. Claims from Paulding residents increased from 325 to 347 in May, an increase of 22, or 6.8 percent.
Over the year, Paulding’s rate is down by eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.6 percent in May 2013.
Paulding’s rate was lower than the statewide rate of 7.2 percent, but higher than the nationwide rate of 6.3 percent, the labor department reported.
The county’s rate also was lower than the metro Atlanta unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in May, which was an increase from 6.5 percent in April. Metro Atlanta is defined as a 28-county area surrounding the city of Atlanta, including Paulding County.
While the jobless rate rose in metro Atlanta, labor department officials said the number of jobs in the area increased by 19,700, or 0.8 percent, to 2,465,200 in May from 2,445,500 in April. The increase is significantly larger than the 10,100 average gain between April and May over the past three years, officials said.