ALBANY — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Albany’s unemployment rate increased to 8.8 percent in October, up three-tenths of a percent from 8.5 percent in September.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region increased to 8.5 percent in October, up two-tenths of a point from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 9 percent in October a year ago for Southwest Georgia and 9.3 percent in October 2012 in Albany.
Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for Albany fell from 9.1 percent in August to 8.5 percent for September, labor officials said. At the same time, the rate for Southwest Georgia fell from 8.8 percent in August to 8.3 percent.
Labor officials said the rate rose in both Albany and Southwest Georgia during October primarily for two reasons — an increase in new layoffs and an increase in the number of unemployed residents.
The number of new layoffs in Albany, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased to 870, up by 42.2 percent, from 612 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by manufacturing and construction, administrative and support services and trade, transportation and warehousing. There were 760 claims in October 2012.
The number of new layoffs in Southwest Georgia increased to 1,619, up from 1,340 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by manufacturing and construction, trade, transportation and warehousing along with administrative and support services, the Labor Department said.
The number of unemployed people in Albany increased to 6,404, up by 186 from 6,218 in September. There were 6,986 unemployed in October 2012. In Southwest Georgia, the number of unemployed people increased to 13,494, up by 212 from 13,282 in September, and there were 14,742 unemployed at the same time last year.
While the jobless rate was up in Albany, employers added jobs in October. There were 61,800 jobs in metro Albany, up by 600 from the number of jobs in September. Most of the new jobs were added in the private sector, including services such as trade and transportation. Over the year, jobs were up by 200, or .3 percent, from October 2012. Most of the increase came in trade and transportation, labor officials said Thursday.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined in Albany by 319 to 72,809 in October, down from 73,128 in September. The labor force was down by 2,204 from 75,013 in October 2012. The labor force in Southwest Georgia declined by 1,422 to 158,591 in October from 160,013 in September, and the labor force was down by 5,657 from 164,248 at the same time last year, officials said.