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Region’s jobless rates up

ALBANY — It’s obviously going to take some time for the local economic picture to get better.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Albany rose to 9.9 percent in December, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.6 percent in November.

The jobless rate in metro Albany in December a year ago was 10.5 percent. The rate increased because there were fewer employed residents and the number of jobs declined by 300, mostly in private service-related industries.

At the same time, the preliminary unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia area rose to 9.5 percent in December, up from 9.3 percent in November. The jobless rate in the region for December 2010 was 10.3 percent.

“Looking at the local employment data, it looks like economic activity is fairly stagnant, which contrasts with the improvement that we saw earlier in the year,” said Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of economics at Darton College. “Overall, we have been burdened with a state economy that has been the only state to not have grown jobs since the recession. I think most of that can be attributed to the housing problems associated with Atlanta, which is an economic driver for the rest of Georgia. Foreclosure rates are among the highest in the nation, and that is holding down economic activity not only in Albany and Georgia but most of the Southeast region.

“One positive sign that could eventually lead to better results in the job market is the improvement that we are seeing in manufacturing activity on the national level. Hopefully, that will eventually spill toward new opportunities later in the year.”

By metropolitan area, Athens and Warner Robins had the lowest jobless rates at 7.3 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.1 percent. By region, the Georgia Mountains area had the lowest rate at 8.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region near Dublin recorded the highest rate at 11.3 percent.

A county-by-county breakdown of unemployment rates from December throughout the state showed Dougherty to be at 11 percent, Lee to be at 7.3 percent, Worth to be at 9.5 percent, Baker to be at 8.4 percent and Terrell to be at 10.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in December for the third straight month, dropping to 9.7 percent. The state jobless rate was 10.4 percent at the same time the previous year.

The state rate declined because 11,500 Georgians went back to work in December. Statewide, there were 600 new construction jobs, and manufacturing grew by 400 jobs. Job gains also came in information services as well as trade and transportation.

Comments

dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

Am I getting lost in the fine points of some of the recent economic manure or did we just hear things were better a few days ago? Maybe I'm not paying enough attention since economists, politicians, and lawyers aren't high on the list of those known for veracity.

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Black_Falcon 2 years, 2 months ago

To quote mark Twain, "There are lies, dam- lies, and then statistics."

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A_Johnson_Darton 2 years, 2 months ago

The UGA economist, who reflected on Albany's strong economic performance was reflecting what occurred during the whole year and it was accurate. The other economist who predicted that Albany's economy would struggle in 2012 was speculating on performance that hasn't occurred yet and might be accurate, but we will have to wait and see. My comments are a reflection of what I've seen over the last few months where our job rates are much less than they were earlier in the year.

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Sally_O 2 years, 2 months ago

Why is anybody surprised by this news? I said last month that the unemployment rate dropping was due to the holiday season and once that season was over people would lose their temporary jobs. The so called experts didn't have me fooled.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

Economic forecasts are like weather predictions--make enough of them and perhaps one will be right. Why don't we just ask Yolanda?.

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