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County, metro jobless rates up; state layoffs lowest since 2006
by Noreen Cochran
March 18, 2014 03:27 PM | 1193 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the county and the metro Atlanta area shed their Christmas jobs in January, helping to drive the unemployment rate up.

The January rate is 7.2 percent in the metro, up from 6.8 percent in December.

It is 7.5 percent in Henry County.

“This time of year we always have fewer jobs because the seasonal hiring of Christmas is over. This part of the time of the year reflects that. We saw the Atlanta area lose just shy of 40,000 jobs,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement last week.

But the latest figures have a silver lining, he said.

“When you compare this past January to the previous January, there are over 58,000 more jobs in the metro Atlanta area than there were a year ago,” Butler said.

“A lot of temporary jobs that we saw during the holiday season actually were turned into permanent jobs.”

Georgia’s jobless rate decreased to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent the previous month and from 8.6 percent last year, partly due to nearly 16,000 employees joining or rejoining the workforce.

The number of new layoffs in Georgia in January fell to the lowest level in eight years, according to department spokesman Sam Hall.

“There were 58,091 new claims for unemployment insurance,” he said in a statement. “This is the smallest number of claims in January since 2006.”

Butler said winter storm Leon impacted metro Atlanta profits in late January, but not initial claims for unemployment benefits.

“There was no doubt some people lost a few days of work, but they had not been laid off,” he said.

“There was a tremendous effect on businesses for loss of time, production and income, but as far as affecting the rate, it did not.”

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