Area unemployment jumps in January

ALBANY, Ga. — The first set of local unemployment numbers for the year indicates that both Albany and Southwest Georgia saw an increase in jobless rates in January.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the five-county metropolitan Albany area rose to 9.7 percent in January, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.4 percent in December.

The rate for January rose from the previous month because of two primary factors — a loss of seasonal jobs and an increase in new layoffs represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, officials from the Labor Department said. The Albany rate was 10 percent in January 2012.

Metro Albany comprises Baker, Dougherty, Lee, Terrell and Worth counties.

At the same time, the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region rose to 9.4 percent in January, up from 9.1 percent in December.

The regional jobless rate was 9.6 percent for January 2012.

This January, the rate rose because there were 793 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, health care and social assistance and accommodations and food services.

At least one expert suggests that it may be more useful to look at how this performance relates to last year and how Albany compares with other areas in the state.

“On the positive side, both Albany and Southwest Georgia experienced job gains and improved unemployment rates over the last year,” said Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of economics at Darton State College. “When looking at the Albany area, most of those gains took place in the services industry, so that indicates that economic activity has improved over the last year.

“On the negative side, the rate of job growth and improvement in the unemployment rate is below the state average.”

While initial claims in Southwest Georgia were up from December to January, they were down by 337, or 11.1 percent, from 3,031 in January 2012. The decline in claims led to a year-over-year drop in the region’s jobless rate, Labor Department officials said.

The number of jobs in the metro area declined by 800, or 1.3 percent, from December to January. However, metro Albany started the year with 200 more jobs in January than a year ago. Over the year, jobs were up by three-tenths of a percentage point from 60,500 last year. The job increases came mostly in the service-related industries, officials say.

The number of initial claims, tied to many of the seasonal layoffs, rose in Albany by 62.5 percent from 798 to 1,297. Most of the claims were filed in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing and administrative and support services.

Of the 14 metro areas, Athens had the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent while Dalton had the highest at 11.9 percent. Out of the 11 regions, the Georgia Mountains area had the lowest rate at 8 percent while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha area was at 11.9 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 8.7 percent, unchanged from December. The rate was 9.3 percent in January 2012.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago

Really? Tokyo is hiring right now. It's on their sign outside. There's plenty of jobs for the skilled, eager, and determined Albany workforce. The rest? Just say out on your porch and the postman will bring you your check.


RedEric 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah and summer is coming and we don't want to be workin when it is going to be so hot outside. It ain't healthy


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh I've heard that. Plus it's cold in the winter lots of days.


VSU 2 years, 8 months ago

Yet another ongoing broken promise by Obuma. He promised to bring more jobs on his re-election bid. Odd that gas prices dropped and unemployment numbers dropped in November during re-election time, now that Obuma is locked in 4 more years, gas prices are shooting back up and unemployment numbers are rising again. Just goes to show that Democratic voters will believe a good liar everytime.


Cartman 2 years, 8 months ago

Quit complaining. At least they're not coming after your guns.

Oh wait.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago


8.25% of Caucasians in the United States receive food stamps. 8.23% of Hispanics in the United States receive food stamps. 25.0% of Blacks in the United States receive food stamps.


B4it 2 years, 8 months ago

The unemployment rate increase is not a surprise. Just look at the number of law breakers listed each week in the Jailed Report.


Merlin 2 years, 8 months ago

God how I do love Sister Ruby, she tells it like it is.


Ihope4albany 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope that I don't have to keep making this point. When a dominant group of people underdevelop or marginalize another of group of people and the result is what it is, why are we surprised? When the oppressor is finished exploiting one group, another group has to be found. What is left in the wake is humanity at its worse.

The justice of all of it is, everyone who had anything to do with gaining an unfair advantage through inhumane actions in the past, current, or future will have to pay the piper one day. The law is universal, one shall reap what one sows. Plain and simple!


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