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

Metro Columbus unemployment rate declines to 8.5 percent in August

(WTVM) -

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

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

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

There were 727 new layoffs, represented by initial claimsfor unemployment insurance, which are 560, or 43.5 percent, fewer than the1,287 in July. Much of the decline came in manufacturing, with additionalreductions in educational services and administrative and supportservices.   

Over-the-year, the number of initial claims was down by333, or 31.4 percent, from 1,060 in August 2012. Reductions were mostly inmanufacturing, accommodations and food services, retail trade, andadministrative and support services.

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

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

The labor force, which is the number of people employedplus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 1,724 to130,125 in August, down from 131,849 in July. And, it was also down by 1,564from 131,689 in August 2012.

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

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemploymentrate for August was 8.7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was9.0 percent in August a year ago.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted.Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us

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