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Metro Albany jobless rate hits 10.5 percent

ALBANY -- The jobless rate for the five-county Albany Metropolitan Statistical area rose three-tenths of a point from September to October, settling at 10.5 percent, state labor officials said Friday.

In the Southwest Georgia region, the unemployment rate was flat for the two months at 10.2 percent.

That was the same unemployment rate for the state as a whole, Georgia Department of Labor officials said. The Georgia rate was a tenth of a percent above September's 10.2 percent jobless rate for the state.

Labor officials said that statewide there were 3,858,800 payroll jobs in October, down 227,700 jobs -- or 5.6 percent -- from the 4,086,500 jobs the state had in October 2008. The state also had fewer workers last month than it did a year ago, dropping 139,015 people, or 2.9 percent, to last month's total of 4,720,688.

The year-over-year job losses were in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, professional and business services, and construction, labor officials said. Meanwhile, educational and health service jobs increased in that 12-month period by 13,200 positions. From September to October, Georgia added 5,200 jobs in the areas of retail trade, public and private education, and health care.

In Metro Albany -- which comprises Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Baker and Terrell counties -- there were 7,976 unemployed workers last month, Georgia Department of Labor officials said. That was an increase of 272 jobless workers from September. Since October 2008, when metro Albany had a 7 percent unemployment rate, the metro area has lost 2,900 jobs, or 4.5 percent, leaving the MSA with 61,800 payroll jobs last month.

In Southwest Georgia, the number of unemployed workers rose by 187, from 16,884 in September to 17,071 last month. That compares to the 12,114 jobless workers the region had in October 2008, when the Southwest Georgia unemployment rate was 7 percent.

Statewide, Georgia's unemployment rate a year ago was 6.9 percent. October's 10.2 percent figure was the first time in two years that the state's jobless rate was at least as good as the national rate.