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Areas jobless rate holds steady

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate for December was 5.6 percent, unchanged from November. The rate in December 2014 was 6.9 percent.

At 5.6 percent, the rate for Metro Hinesville, which the U.S. Census defines as Liberty and Long counties and Fort Stewart, is at its lowest point since June 2008, when it was 5.4 percent.

While the rate was unchanged from November, the number of jobs decreased by 200 and new layoffs, as measured by initial unemployment insurance claims, increased by 16.  

The number of jobs decreased to 19,700, or 1 percent, from 19,900 in both November and December 2014. Most of the decreases over the month and year came in the service-related industries, such as trade, transportation and warehousing.   

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 8.9 percent, to 196 in December. Most of the increase came in transportation and warehousing. However, over the year, claims were down by 39, or 16.6 percent, from 235 in December 2014.

The unemployment rate for Coastal Georgia, which includes Liberty and Long counties, was 5.2 percent in December, up 0.1 percentage point from November. The region’s unemployment rate in December 2014 was 6.3 percent.     

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.3 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha and River Valley regions had the highest at 6.6 percent.  

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 5.5 percent, down from 5.6 percent in November. It was 6.6 percent in December 2014.

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