Unemployment rate rises in Three Rivers region

Posted March 18, 2017

First-time claims for US unemployment benefits saw a modest decrease in the week ended March 11th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

January unemployment rates fell in 205 of the nation's 388 metropolitan areas, rose in 147 areas and were unchanged in 36.

The annual number of layoffs and discharges, after increasing over the past two years, declined to 19.9 million from 20.9 million the previous year.

These are normal seasonal fluctuations for January, state labor department officials said. The layoffs were seen in the categories of manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction and trade, and transportation and warehousing.

However, over the year, 5,800 jobs were added, a 3.4 percent growth rate, up from 171,200 in January 2016. All of the job growth came in the service industries.

The jobless rate jumped 1.2 percent in January in Whitfield County to 6.9 percent and rose in Murray County by 1 percentage point to 7.8 percent.

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Douglas County's labor force was 71,393 in January, with 67,312 employed. The number of unemployed residents rose by 397 to 2,863, while the number of employed residents decreased by 127 to 41,218.

The rate rose as the labor force grew and the number of new layoffs increased. The number of unemployed increased by 797 to 4,500, while the number of employed individuals increased by 387 to 58,856.

Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, ticked down by 2,000 to 241,000. However, over the year, claims were down by 656, or 6.4 percent, from 10,280 in January 2016.

The Kansas City area's jobless rate was estimated at 4.5 percent in January 2017, compared to 3.8 percent in December and 4.3 percent in January 2016. It was 5.6 percent in January 2016.

The department encourages job seekers and employers to use its online job listing service employgeorgia.com. In January, 2,692 new job openings in the Northwest Georgia region were posted on Employ Georgia.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally-adjusted, the department said.