The jobless rate in metropolitan Dalton rose last month to its highest level since January as more job seekers entered the local labor market.
The Georgia Department of Labor said today that 9.3 percent of the workers in the Dalton, Ga., area were out of work in June - a five-month high. Employment continued to grow slightly in June but not as fast as the labor force which grew as students got out of school for the summer and many previously discouraged job seekers returned to the labor market to try to find a job.
The Dalton-based carpet industry is adding jobs as the housing and construction market improves the demand for new floorcoverings, but new or revamped carpet mills are not requiring as many workers to produce the same amount of carpet as they once did.
There were 64,000 jobs in Dalton in June, down by 200, or 0.3 percent, from 64,200 in May. Most of the loss came in state and local education.
However, there was an over-the-year gain of 400 jobs, or 0.6 percent, from 63,600 in June 2013. The primary growth was in local government, retail trade and textile manufacturing.
Also, there were 772 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in June, an increase of 129, or 20.1 percent, from 643 in May. Most of the increase in claims came in administrative and support services, along with transportation and warehousing. There were 983 claims filed in June 2013.
The labor force grew by 309 to 58,072 from 57,763 in May.
Dalton's non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was nearly 2 percentage points above Georgia's statewide rate and was nearly 3 percentage points above the U.S. jobless rate in June.
Across Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.3 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region in south central Georgia had the highest at 10.4 percent.