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Unemployment rates up sharply
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ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate in the metro Hinesville area rose to 5.5 percent in January, up six-tenths of one percent from 4.9 percent in December. The unemployment rate in the metro Savannah area rose to 4.4 percent in January, up one-half of one percent from 3.9 percent in December, while the unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area rose to 4.6 percent in January, up six-tenths of one percent from 4.0 percent in December.
Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate rose to 5.2 percent in January, up six-tenths of one percent from 4.6 percent in December. The January increase brings the rise over the past two months to a full percentage point.
The last time Georgia experienced a one-point increase in the state unemployment rate during the November to January time period was 16 years ago when the rate jumped from 4.3 percent in November of 1991 to 5.3 percent in January of 1992.
"I continue to be concerned by weakness in Georgia's labor market," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "Clearly, the credit crisis and slumping housing sector are negatively impacting the job market.  We're monitoring the situation closely and are prepared to respond."
The current state rate is two-tenths of one percent lower than the U.S. unadjusted rate of 5.4 percent.
The state's rate increased from December to January because the number of people unemployed increased by 27,044, while the number employed declined by 43,975. This increase in the rate was due mainly to across-the-board job losses in manufacturing, construction, trade, and services.
From December to January, preliminary data show Georgia lost 53,300 payroll jobs, a 1.3 percent decline.
Georgia labor market data are not seasonally adjusted and are available at
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