Dalton jobless rate rises to 7.4 percent

Downtown Dalton, Ga.
photo Downtown Dalton, Ga.

Seasonal job cuts in July cut a net 200 jobs in the Dalton, Ga., area, pushing up the jobless rate in the Carpet Capital last month to the highest level since the start of the year.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that unemployment in metropolitan Dalton rose six-tenths of a percentage point during July to 7.4 percent, the highest monthly rate in Dalton since January when the unemployment rate in Dalton was 7.9 pecent.

Dalton's nonseasonally adjusted rate in July was 2 percentage points higher than the comparable U.S. jobless rate of 5.6 percent and 1.6 percentage points higher than Georgia's statewide rate of 6 percent last month.

Georgia's labor agency said initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, nearly doubled in Dalton last month to 1,260. Most of the increase came in temporary claims filed in manufacturing.

But over the past year, Dalton's employment still grew by a healthy 2.9 percent, or 1,900 jobs. The jobless rate in July 2014 in the Dalton area was 9.5 percent.

Over the year, jobless claims also were down by 369, or 22.7 percent, from 1,629 in July 2014.

Metro Dalton includes Whitfield and Murray counties and is home to the world's biggest carpet and floorcovering manufacturers.