Metro Columbus unemployment rate declines to 8.5 percent in Augu -, GA News Weather & Sports

Metro Columbus unemployment rate declines to 8.5 percent in August

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According to the Georgia Department of Labor, metro Columbus' unemployment rate decreased to 8.5 percent in August, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in July.

This rate is also lower than the same month last year, as August 2012 also saw a 9.2 percent unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate drop is due to a decrease in the number of layoffs and an increase in the number of jobs.

There were 727 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, which are 560, or 43.5 percent, fewer than the 1,287 in July. Much of the decline came in manufacturing, with additional reductions in educational services and administrative and support services.   

Over-the-year, the number of initial claims was down by 333, or 31.4 percent, from 1,060 in August 2012. Reductions were mostly in manufacturing, accommodations and food services, retail trade, and administrative and support services.

There were 120,000 jobs in metro Columbus in August, up by 500, or four-tenths of a percentage point, from 119,500 in July. The increase came mostly in local government.  

Metro Columbus gained 200 jobs, or 0.2 percent, since August 2012 when there were 119,800. The gains were mostly in leisure and hospitality and professional and business services. 

The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 1,724 to 130,125 in August, down from 131,849 in July. And, it was also down by 1,564 from 131,689 in August 2012.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.9 percent. 

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 8.7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was 9.0 percent in August a year ago.

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

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