The unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in January a year ago. There was a loss of 47,700 mostly seasonal jobs and an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits over the month, according to the Department of Labor, but the increases were not enough to impact the unemployment rate.
“The good news in this report is that we lost the fewest jobs for January since 1987,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “And, we start the year with 79,600 more jobs in January than we had in the same period a year ago.”
Georgia’s labor force grew by 15,704, reaching 4,846,362 in January, its highest level since July 2008. The labor force has grown by 54,127, or 1.1 percent, from 4,792,635 in January 2012.
The number of jobs increased to 3,956,300 from 3,876,700 in January 2012. Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 25,500; leisure and hospitality, 21,300; education and health care, 16,100; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 13,000, and manufacturing 5,800.
The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits, resulting from layoffs during the month, increased by 20,669 to 71,530 in January from 50,861 in December. The increase is mostly from seasonal layoffs in manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction, and retail trade.
The number of initial claims was down by 6,226, over the year, dropping from 77,756 in January 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in manufacturing, retail trade, construction, accommodations and food services, and transportation and warehousing.
The number of long-term unemployed workers declined by 3,700 to 191,300 in January, its lowest level in 35 months. The long-term unemployed — those out of work for more than 26 weeks—make up 45.2 percent of the 423,337 unemployed in Georgia, according to the Department of Labor.
The percentage of long-term unemployed and number of unemployed has declined from January of 2012, with 244,200 or 54.6 percent of the 447,298 total unemployed were long-term unemployed. The highest percentage of long-term unemployed was in April 2012, when 240,500 of 435,773 total unemployed or 55.2 percent were long-term unemployed.
County-by-county numbers were not yet available for January, but some regional numbers are available. The Atlanta area was tied with the Savannah area for percentage of job gains at 2.8 percent from January 2012 to January 2013.
There were 63,400 job gains in the Atlanta area for January 2013 with 2,362,900 jobs compared to the 2,299,500 jobs in January 2012. For the 14 metro areas, only four – Dalton, Columbus, Warner Robins and Hinesville had losses from January 2012 to January 2013.