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Unemployment, jobs increase in county, metro
by Christine Fonville
August 06, 2013 02:17 PM | 1901 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Continuing May’s trend, Fulton County and metro Atlanta saw seasonal spikes in unemployment rates in June, according to a report released last week by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate stands at 8.9 percent, while Fulton County’s is 9.8 percent.

The jobless percentage for June marks a seven-tenths increase from 8.2 percent for metro Atlanta and a one percent jump for the county since May.

According to the report, 232 more East Point residents were unemployed in June than in May, boosting the city’s unemployment rate from 12.5 to 13.8 percent.

The county had 3,786 more jobless residents than last month.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is “not unusual for this time of the year.”

“In the past,” Butler said, “the biggest reason why the rate had gone up was massive job loss, but that’s not necessarily the case this time around. We’re seeing a lot more graduates going into the work force.”

Department spokesman Sam Hall said new graduates are among the “primary reasons” for higher unemployment rates since they are considered unemployed until they find jobs.

He said job seekers, along with education workers who are out of work during the summer, are “two important, seasonal factors to remember” when considering June’s rates.

On the topic of layoffs in the metro area, Butler said,“We saw a decrease in initial claims, which are people newly laid off. It was down 10 percent last month. If you look at the yearly numbers for layoffs, it’s actually down over 13 percent for over the year.”

In addition to the percentage of initial claims being down, the unemployment rate for metro Atlanta and Fulton County is lower than last year, with metro Atlanta’s rate at 9.3 percent and Fulton County’s rate at 12.1 percent in June 2012.

Hall said these yearly statistics proved an “ongoing showing of improvements” for employment.

Although the jobless rate rose, the number of jobs in metro Atlanta grew for the fifth consecutive month.

The private sector, which includes hospitality and financial services, added 7,800 jobs while 3,500 government jobs were lost.

The sum of 4,300 new jobs in metro Atlanta marks a two-tenths of a percentage point increase from May.

“If you take a look at the actual job gains and losses over the past month, we actually gained 4,300 jobs in the Atlanta area,” Butler said.

The commissioner said this was “good news” for three sectors hit particularly hard by unemployment: financial services, construction and manufacturing.

In particular, Butler pointed to residential construction in metro Atlanta as a good sign of growth for the construction industry.

Fulton County is one of the 73 counties in Georgia, including Henry and DeKalb, whose unemployment rate was under 10 percent for the month of June.

The 86 other counties, including Clayton, had a 10 percent or greater jobless rate.

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