ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Savannah’s unemployment rate increased to 7.9 percent in May, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 7.1 percent in April.
The rate was 8.1 percent in May a year ago.
The rate increased primarily because of the seasonal influx of jobseekers into the labor force as new graduates began looking for work. The number of people entering the labor force, those employed and actively seeking employment, rose by 1,252 to 182,920 in May from 181,668 in April.
Preliminary figures put Effingham County’s unemployment rate at 7.1 percent for May, up from 6.6 percent in April. Effingham’s jobless rate was 7.9 percent for April 2012.
The unemployment rate in Coastal Georgia rose to 8.6 percent in May, up from 7.9 percent in April. Coastal Georgia’s unemployment rate for May 2012 was 8.7 percent. The number of people entering the labor force, those employed and actively seeking employment, rose by 2,599 to 320,557 in May from 317,958 in April.
The number of jobs increased by 100, or one-tenth of a percentage point, to 159,400, up from 159,300 in April. Most of the job gains came in leisure and hospitality. Over-the-year growth added 800 jobs, or five-tenths of a percentage point, since 158,600 were recorded in May 2012. Most of the job growth came in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, manufacturing, and local government.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia Altamaha region had the highest at 11.5 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in April. The rate was 9.1 percent in May a year ago.