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November unemployment down in Albany, Southwest Georgia

Job increases, insurance claims drop results in jobless rate decline

ALBANY —The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that metro Albany’s unemployment rate has hit its lowest rate since March 2009.

The metro Albany rate for November dropped to 8.2 percent, down from 8.8 percent in October.

This is the lowest the rate has been since it was 8.1 percent in March 2009. The rate was 9.1 percent in November a year ago, officials from the Labor Department said.

At the same time, officials announced that the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region decreased to 7.9 percent in November, down six-tenths of a percentage point from October’s rate. The Southwest Georgia rate was 8.7 percent in November 2012.

The rates declined in November primarily because the number of jobs increased, the number of unemployment insurance claims were down and the number of unemployed people fell, officials said. Due to seasonal hiring, it is not uncommon for unemployment rates to decline late in the year.

Metro Albany employers added 500 jobs in November, increasing the number of jobs to 62,300, up from 61,800 in October. Most of the new jobs were in trade, transportation and warehousing. Over the year, jobs were up by 400, or .7 percent, from 61,900 in November 2012. Most of the jobs in a year’s time were also added in trade, transportation and warehousing, the Labor Department said.

Officials also said on Thursday that the number of new layoffs in Albany, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, decreased to 774, down by 11 percent, from 870 in October. Claims declined in several sectors, including trade, transportation and warehousing, along with manufacturing and construction. There were 685 claims in November of last year.

The number of new layoffs in Southwest Georgia decreased to 1,385, down by 14.5 percent, from 1,619 in October. Claims declined in several sectors, including manufacturing and construction and trade, transportation and warehousing. There were 1,741 claims in November 2012, the GDOL said.

Unemployment decreased in Southwest Georgia to 12,432, down by 984 from 13,416 in October. There were 14,184 unemployed in November 2012. At the same time, the number of unemployed people in Albany decreased to 5,933, down by 437 from 6,370 in October. There were 6,783 unemployed in the city during November 2012, officials said.

By metropolitan area, figures released by GDOL on Thursday showed that Athens had the lowest rate for November at 5.1 percent while Dalton had the highest rate at 9.4 percent. By regional area, Heart of Georgia-Altamaha had the highest rate at 10 percent while the Georgia Mountains region had the lowest for November at 6.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, down from 8.1 percent in October. The rate was 8.7 percent in November a year ago.