Metro Columbus unemployment rate unchanged in December - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Metro Columbus unemployment rate unchanged in December

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The metro Columbus unemployment rate has remained the same at 7.6 percent for November and December, according to the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL).

Despite the unchanged unemployment rate, the number of jobs in the area declined by 200 to 121,100 in December. The DOL says the losses were mostly in leisure and hospitality and financial services.

Overall, 2013 saw an increase in the number of jobs in the metro Columbus area with 600 more jobs, or a 0.5 percent increase since December 2012 when there were 120,500 jobs. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, finance, and retail trade.

The number of new layoffs increased to 2,379, up by 1,259, or 112.4 percent from 1,120 in November. These figures are represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Claims increased in several sectors, including accommodations and food services, manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services. There were 1,343 claims in December 2012.

Statewide, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.2 percent, and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.2 percent.

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.

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

(Source: Georgia Department of Labor press release)

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