Albany area unemployment up in July

July numbers show area unemployment on the rise

ALBANY — According to the latest state figures, the unemployment rate in both metro Albany and the Southwest Georgia region followed the rest of the state in seeing an increase from June to July.

The Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) announced Thursday that Albany’s unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in July, up four-tenths of a percentage point from the 8.7 percent reported for June. Southwest Georgia saw a slightly larger increase as the rate increased from 8.6 percent in June to 9.1 percent in July, a change of five-tenths of a percentage point.

Similarly, Georgia as a whole saw an increase of four-tenths of a percentage point as the rate went up from 7.4 percent in June to 7.8 percent in July.

The July rate increases are being driven primarily by seasonal factors, such as temporary layoffs in educational services, although the DOL reports that most laid-off workers have returned to their jobs.

In Albany there were 671 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in July, a decrease of 124 or 15.6 percent, from 795 in June. Most of the decrease in claims came among manufacturing workers.

Overall there were 60,000 jobs in Albany in July, up by 100, or 0.2 percent, from June. Those gains came in the service-related industries and construction.

For Southwest Georgia there were 1,387 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in July, a decrease of 99, or 6.7 percent, from 1,486 the prior month. Most decreases came among workers in manufacturing.

Despite the the month to month increases in the jobless rate from Albany and Southwest Georgia, both rates were favorable compared to last year’s as metro Albany’s was down year over year from the 9.3 percent reported in 2013. Southwest Georgia’s 9.1 percent was the same rate reported last July.

The same trend held for the state as a whole as Georgia’s overall July rate was 8.3 percent a year ago, five-tenths of a percent higher than this year’s July rate.