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Effinghams jobless rate rises
Unemployment down from a year ago but up half a point from May
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ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Effingham County’s unemployment rate for June was 7.6 percent, a rise of half a percentage point from the revised May figure of 7.1 percent. State statistics also show that Effingham’s labor force size decreased, even as the number of unemployed workers rose.

Effingham’s jobless rate for June 2012 was 8.0 percent.

Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate increased to 8.8 percent in June, up nine-tenths of a percentage point from 7.9 percent in May. The rate was also 8.8 percent in June a year ago.

The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region increased to 9.5 percent in June, up 1.0 percent from 8.5 percent in May. The rate was 9.4 percent in June a year ago.

The rate increased primarily because of two seasonal factors: large numbers of education workers are unemployed during the summer and new graduates are considered unemployed until they find a job.

Also, the number of layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, rose by 70, or 3.9 percent, to 1,854 in June from 1,784 in May. The increases came mostly in administrative and support services, transportation and warehousing, educational services, and health care and social assistance.

While the jobless rate increased, the number of jobs in metro Savannah decreased by 100, or one-tenth of a percentage point, from 159,500 in May to 159,400 in June. Most of the job loss came in state government.

However, over the year, the number of jobs increased by 1,100, or seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 158,300 in June 2012. Most of the job gains came in the private sector, including leisure and hospitality, trade and transportation, manufacturing, mining, logging and construction.

The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose slightly to 182,756 in June, up by six from 182,750 in May. It was down by 788 from 183,544 in June 2012.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 7.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 12.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 8.6 percent, up from 8.3 percent in May. The rate was 9.1 percent in June a year ago.