Northwest Georgia's Unemployment Rate Rises To 5.8 Percent In January

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The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Floyd County's unemployment rate in January was 6.5 percent, up nine-tenths of a percentage point from 5.6 percent in December.

The Labor Department on Thursday also said continuing unemployment claims, reflecting benefits drawn by workers for longer than a week, fell by 30,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 4.

The number of jobs decreased in the Dalton area in January by a net 100, or 0.1 percent, to 69,700. Job growth came mostly in the service industries, including education and health services.

New claims for unemployment benefits, a sign of layoffs, rose from December to January by 1,304, or 76.1 percent, labor officials said. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and administrative and support services.

Total non-farm jobs in Indiana County decreased 1,700 to 31,000 in January.

Douglas County's labor force was 71,393 in January, with 67,312 employed. The number of unemployed residents rose by 2,726 to 23,887, while the number of employed residents decreased by 1,094 to 387,721.

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The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs, according to GDOL.

Yellen noted that jobs have gained and the unemployment rate has seen continued declines in the first two months of 2017.

Area employers had 16,800 more employees on their payrolls in January 2017 than a month earlier and 25,900 more than in January 2016, the metropolitan area report said. However, over the year, claims were down by 656, or 6.4 percent, from 10,280 in January 2016. Dalton had the highest unemployment rate at the start of 2017 of any of Georgia's 14 metropolitan areas and the January rate for metro Dalton was 2 percentage points above the comparable US rate for the same month. Throughout the state, 64,018 new job openings were posted.

Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for January was 5.5 percent while the USA jobless rate in January was 4.8 percent.

Photo at top: New job openings on display at Evanston restaurant.