Unemployment in metropolitan Dalton jumped back into double digits last month for the first time in a year as temporary plant layoffs in July more than doubled the number in the previous month.
The Georgia Department of Labor said today that Dalton's nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 1.1 percent during July to 104 percent - the highest jobless level in metro Dalton since July 2013.
Initial claims for jobless benefits in metro Dalton more than doubled from 772 in June to 1,629 in July due to temporary layoffs. Despite the monthly jump, initial claims for unemployment insurance in Dalton were still down by nearly 29 percent from the 2,284 new claims filed in July 2013.
Local government employment also dropped in July with school out for the summer, cutting the overall number of Dalton workers on the job during July by 300 from the June level.
Over the past year, however, Dalton employment still grew by 500 jobs. The primary growth was in textile manufacturing, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and local government.
Dalton's 0.8 percent rate of job gains over the past year was less than half the statewide growth pace of 2.1 percent in all of Georgia.
Metropolitan Dalton, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties in northwest Georgia, had the highest jobless rate last month among the 14 metro areas in Georgia, Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate in Georgia at 6.6 percent,
Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for July was 7.8 percent, up from 7.4 percent in June.. Georgia's unemployment rate last month was the second highest of any state in the United States, behind only Mississippi with a July jobless rate of 8 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate last month was unchanged at 6.2 percent.