ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent in January, up 0.1 percent from 8.1 percent in December.
The rate was 9.3 percent in January a year ago.
The jobless rate rose primarily because the number of jobs in metro Hinesville decreased to 19,700, down by 300, or 1.5 percent, from 20,000 in December. Most of the losses came in the service-related industries and state government. Some of the losses were offset by small gains in other sectors. There were 19,800 jobs in the area in January 2013.
And the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment-insurance benefits, increased in January to 229, up by 26, or 12.8 percent, from 203 in December. Most of the rise in claims came in administrative and support services. There were 297 claims in January 2013.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent in December. The rate was 8.6 percent in January a year ago.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.