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Slight rise in unemployment for Coastal Georgia

POSTED: June 26, 2014 6:38 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region increased to 7.5 percent in May, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 6.7 percent in April. The rate was 8.1 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 2,152, up to 321,084 in May from 318,932 in April.

Also, there were 2,396 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, an increase of 834, or 53.4 percent, from 1,562 in April. Most of the increase in claims came in transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and accommodations and food services. There were 2,944 claims filed in May 2013.

Unemployment in the metro Savannah area increased to 7.0 percent in May, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 6.2 percent in April. The rate was 7.5 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 865, up to 184,466 in May from 183,601 in April.

While the rate rose, the number of jobs increased by 400, or 0.2 percent, to 165,400 in May from 165,000 in April. Most of the job increases came in leisure and hospitality.

And, over the year, the number of jobs increased by 2,600, or 1.6 percent, from 162,800 in May 2013. The job gainers were in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Government lost 700 jobs.

Also, there were 1,416 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, an increase of 510, or 56.3 percent, from 906 in April. Most of the increase in claims came in transportation and warehousing and accommodations and food services. There were 1,784 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.

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