Unemployment rose for the third consecutive month in Georgia during July, boosting the state's jobless rate to the highest level since last October and 1.6 percentage points higher than the U.S. rate.
The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the state' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by four tenths of a percent last month to 7.8 percent. The rate in July of last year was 8.3 percent.
"The July rate increase is primarily due to temporary seasonal layoffs in local government and manufacturing," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. "Most of those individuals have already gone back to work."
In July, Georgia employment fell by 12,800 jobs from the previous month, with the bulk of the loss in local government educational services.
The rising and above-average unemployment rate across the Peach State may have discouraged some workers from trying to get a job. For the time this year, Georgia's labor force declined during July. Georgia's workforce dropped by 4,824 workers last month.
Statewide, claims for unemployment insurance benefits rose by12.5 percent in July. But in metropolitan Dalton in Northwest Georgia, claims for jobless benefits continued to decline last month, falling by nearly 39 percent from the previous month.
"The positive news is that Georgia's private sector employers created 8,200 jobs in July, with the growth coming in several industries," Butler said. "And, the over-the-year growth continues to be strong, as we had 83,300 more jobs than in July of 2013. Georgia continues to be one of the leading states for job creation."
Compared with July 2013, Georgia added 27,500 jobs in professional and business services, 19,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality, 18,500 jobs in trade, transportation and warehousing, and 7,100 jobs in manufacturing.
The U.S. jobless rate in July was 6.2 percent.