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Metro Savannah jobless rate jumps to 9.1 percent
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ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Savannah rose to 9.1 percent in June, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4 percent in May. The rate was 9.6 percent in June 2011.

The rate increased because the labor force grew by 2,684 job seekers and 1,516 of that number did not find jobs. Also, there were 348 new layoffs in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services.

The preliminary unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area rose to 9.6 percent in June, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 8.8 percent in May. The rate was 10.1 percent in June 2011.

The rate increased because 2,322 new job seekers entered the labor force, but were unable to find work, pushing unemployment up 2,828.

Unemployment in Effingham County was at 8.1 percent for June.

Metro Athens and metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rates at 7.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.3 percent. Athens has had the lowest area rate, or tied for the lowest, each month since December 2009. Dalton has had the highest area rate since August 2011.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.0 percent in June, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in May, the first increase in almost a year. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in June a year ago.

The number of jobs in the state dropped by 8,200, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,941,500 in May to 3,933,300 in June. However, jobs were up by 45,200 from 3,888,100 in June 2011. In metro Savannah, jobs increased to 152,400, up by 1,000 from May, but down by 600 from 153,000 in June 2011.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at