Metro jobless rate rises to 5 percent

2/10/2017, 6 a.m.

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate in December rose to 5 percent as the labor force grew and the number of new layoffs increased.

The rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point from 4.8 percent in November. In December 2015, the rate also was 4.8 percent.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs, grew by 20,883 to 2,983,076. The number of unemployed residents rose by 6,398 to 148,445, while the number of employed residents rose by 14,485 to 2,834,631.

In DeKalb County, the jobless rate was 5.3 percent in December, up from a revised 5.1 percent in November. The rate was 5.1 percent in December 2015.

There were 2,227 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in December in DeKalb, up 566 or 34.1 percent from 1,661 in November. In December 2015, there were 2,262 new claims for an over-the-year decrease of 35 or 1.5 percent.

In metro Atlanta, the number of initial claims for UI benefits, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 2,407, or 20.3 percent, to 14,262 in December. Most of the increase came in construction, accommodations and food services, administrative and support services, and professional and technical services, along with manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 2,560, or 15.2 percent, from 16,822 in December 2015.

The number of jobs in Atlanta decreased by 100 to 2,714,600. Only one job sector – trade, transportation and warehousing – showed significant growth in December. It added 6,700 jobs. Federal and local government added 1,600 jobs, while information services added 800. Job losses were recorded in all other sectors.

Over the year, 70,800 jobs were added, a 2.7 percent growth rate, up from 2,643,800 in December 2015. The job growth came in professional and business services, 19,200; trade, transportation and warehousing, 14,200; leisure and hospitality, 10,200; government, 9,600; education and health services, 6,800; financial activities, 5,900; construction, 5,000; information services, 2,800; and manufacturing, 900. Other services lost 3,700 jobs.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha and River Valley regions had the highest at 6.6 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 5.4 percent, up from 5.3 percent in November. It was 5.5 percent in December 2015.

Job seekers and employers can use the Georgia Department of Labor’s online job listing service, Employgeorgia.com, to search for jobs or recruit new employers. In December, 40,123 new job openings in Atlanta were posted. Throughout the state, 57,920 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at dol.georgia.gov.