The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate for May was 6.5 percent, up 0.4 percentage point from 6.1 percent in April. The rate in May 2014 was 7.9 percent.
The rate for Metro Hinesville, which is defined as Liberty and Long counties, rose as the labor force grew by 261 to 32,323 in May. While the new entrants are searching for work, they are counted as unemployed. Last year in May, the labor force declined by 346.
The number of jobs in Hinesville increased by 100, or 0.5 percent, to 20,100. Most of the gains came in the service-related industries, such as trade, transportation and warehousing.
There was an over-the-year gain of 300 jobs, or 1.5 percent, from May 2014. Most of the growth came with the federal government.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 16, or 11 percent, to 129 in May. Most of the decrease came in retail trade. Over the year, claims were down by 29, or 18.4 percent, from 158 filed in May 2014.
In the Coastal Georgia region, which includes Liberty and Long counties, the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from 5.6 percent in April but down from 7.3 percent in May 2014.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 6.3 percent, up from a revised 6.2 percent in April. It was 7.3 percent in May 2014.