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Albany area gains jobs in November

Albany area job gain points toward lower unemployment rates for November

ALBANY — The Albany area saw an increase in jobs in November while the Georgia unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 for the month, it’s lowest point since 2008.

Although the overall unemployment rate for Albany and the surrounding area in November has not been released, the growth in jobs coupled with a drop in initial unemployment insurance claims, indicate the area could see an unemployment rate decline for November.

According to reports from the Georgia Department of Labor, the Albany Metropolitan Service Area (MSA), which includes Baker, Dougherty, Lee, Terrell and Worth counties, had an increase of 500 jobs from October to November, an increase of roughly one percent. The job growth came primarily in trade, transportation and warehousing.

During the same time period, there was an 11 percent decrease of initial unemployment claims filed in the area, as 774 people filed initial claims in November, compared to 870 such claims in October. This decrease was seen in the areas of trade, transportation, warehousing, manufacturing and construction.

According to Georgia Department of Labor Senior Communications Specialist John Ard, these numbers are leading economic indicators and typically point toward changes in the unemployment rate.

“I don’t want to speculate, but those two factors portend a lower rate,” Ard said. “Clearly the trend for Albany is increased employment. That’s the story all over the state.”

Indeed, unemployment dropped statewide in November as the number of jobs increased 19,500 from October to November. The 4,095,500 jobs reported for November was the most jobs in Georgia since September 2008.

The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, decreased to 33,781, down 5,351 or 15.8 percent, for the same time period.

Although the month to month increase in jobs is indicative of seasonal activity, reports also showed an increase 400 jobs in the Albany area from November of last year.

Additionally, Georgia gained 91,200 jobs since November of 2012, when there were 4,004,300 jobs.

“The November to November job growth statewide is the strongest for that period in eight years,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “The growth came in several industries, which indicates a broad job market recovery.”

Area specific unemployment rates throughout the state are expected to be released late next week.