ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in the metropolitan Albany area had risen to 10.3 percent in June, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 9.6 percent in May.
The Albany rate was 10.9 percent in June 2011.
The rate in the five-county metro Albany area increased because the labor force grew by 635 job seekers, and 617 of that number did not find jobs. Also, there were 130 new layoffs in manufacturing industries, officials from the Labor Department say.
The Labor Department also announced that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia area had risen to 9.8 percent in June, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 9.1 percent in May.
The Southwest Georgia rate was 10.4 percent at the same time last year. The regional rate increased because 541 new job seekers entered the labor force, but were unable to find work.
This raised unemployment by 1,204 people, Labor Department officials said.
“While it’s true the unemployment rate increased from the last month, it should be pointed out that we were one of the few areas within the state to experience any job growth,” said Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of economics at Darton State College. “However, the modest job growth was not enough to offset the increased entry into the labor force, which is normal with new graduates entering the labor force.
“The combination of European debt turmoil and fiscal uncertainty are primary factors for overall reluctance in firms expanding payrolls. That must change before we see an enhanced job picture.”
By metro area, Athens and Gainesville had the lowest rates for June at 7.5 percent, while Dalton had the highest at 12.3 percent. Athens has had the lowest area rate, or has been tied for the lowest, each month since December 2009. Dalton has had the highest area rate since August.
By region, the Georgia Mountains area had the lowest rate for June at 8.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had 12 percent.
In a county-by-county breakdown of unemployment rates in the Albany MSA released for June, Dougherty was at 11.4 percent, Lee at 7.6 percent, Worth at 9.5 percent, Terrell at 10.9 percent and Baker at 9.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9 percent in June, up from 8.9 percent in May. This was 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 from May to June. However, jobs have gone up by 45,200 since June 2011, officials say.
In metro Albany, jobs increased to 60,200. This was up by 200 from May, but down by 200 from 60,400 in June 2011, Labor Department officials say.