The Georgia Department of Labor announced that unemployment in Effingham County was 5.3 percent in May, up from April’s figure of 4.9 percent.
While the labor force decreased by 107, the number of jobless rose by 122.
The preliminary May unemployment figure was down from the May 2014 rate of 6.4 percent.
Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for May was 5.9 percent, up five-tenths of a percentage point from 5.4 percent in April. The rate in May 2014 was 7.1 percent.
The rate rose as jobs declined and new layoffs increased.
The number of jobs in Savannah decreased by 1,800, or 1.1 percent, in May to 169,700 down from 171,500 in April. Most of the job losses came in state government, primarily in non-contract school workers, as well as in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and manufacturing.
However, there was an over-the-year gain of 4,200 jobs, or 2.5 percent, from 165,500 in May 2014. Most of the job growth came in professional and business services, trade, transportation and warehousing, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, mining, logging and construction.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 213, or 29.7 percent, to 930 in May, up from 717 in April. Most of the increase came in transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 486, or 34.3 percent, from 1,416 filed in May 2014.
The Department of Labor announced that the unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region in May was 6.1 percent, up five-tenths of a percentage point from 5.6 percent in April. The rate in May 2014 was 7.3 percent.
The rate rose primarily as the labor force grew by 528 to 312,651, a larger increase than in May 2014 when the labor force increased by 520. While the new entrants are searching for work, they are counted as unemployed. The growth in the labor force increased the number of unemployed residents by 1,428.
And, as the labor force increased, so did the number of new layoffs, as measured by initial claims for unemployment insurance. The number of claims rose by 453, or 34.1 percent, to 1,783 in May. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, educational services, and health care and social assistance. Over the year, claims were down by 613, or 25.6 percent, from 2,396 filed in May 2014.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for May was 6.3 percent, up from a revised 6.2 percent in April. It was 7.3 percent in May 2014.
“Our labor force expanded for the 18th month in a row, and that’s probably the biggest factor in driving up the rate,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Also, initial unemployment claims were up, but by less than one-percent.”
The labor force grew to 4,774,912, an increase of 7,379 from April, and while the new entrants are searching for work, they’re counted as unemployed. Last year in May, the labor force grew by 2,773.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance in May rose by 207, or 0.7 percent, from April to 27,946. Most of the increase in claims came in health care and social assistance, along with accommodations and food services. Over the year, claims were down 15.8 percent, or 5,245, from May of last year.
The decline came mostly in accommodations and food services, manufacturing, construction, retail trade and transportation and warehousing.