ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate for January was 5.9 percent, up 0.4 percentage point from 5.5 percent in December. The rate in January 2015 was 7 percent.
The rate rose as the number of jobs in Metro Hinesville, which the U.S. Census defines as Liberty and Long counties and Fort Stewart, decreased to 19,600, down by 200, or 1 percent, from 19,800 in December. Most of the decrease came in services and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
However, over the year, Metro Hinesville gained 100 jobs, a 0.5 percent growth rate, up from 19,500 in January 2015 Most of the job gains came in local government.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 24, or 12.2 percent, to 172 in January. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and accommodations and food services. Also, over the year, claims were down by 17, or 9 percent, from 189 in January 2015.
Unemployment also rose in Coastal Georgia, a 10-county region that includes Liberty and Long, to 5.4 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 5.1 percent in December. The rate in January 2015 was 6.6 percent.
The region’s rate increased as the number of employed workers fell by 1,359 to 297,266.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance in Coastal Georgia declined by 342, or 15.3 percent, to 1,897 in January. Most of the decrease came in administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, and transportation and warehousing. Also, over the year, claims were down by 1,007, or 34.7 percent, from 2,904 in January 2015.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate in Georgia at 4.5 percent, while Metro Dalton had the highest at 7.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 5.4 percent, down from 5.5 percent in December. It was 6.3 percent in January 2015.