ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced Wednesday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in July was 6.5 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in June. The rate in July 2014 was 8.4 percent.
For Pickens County the latest unemployment rate was 6.5 percent. Pickens was one of only 24 counties in Georgia with a rate lower than 6 percent.
This local unemployment figure was up the same two-tenths of a percent from 5.5 percent the previous month (June). The county's rate this year was much lower than the 7.4 percent recorded in July of 2014.
The rate rose as more job seekers entered the labor, and until they find work they’re counted as unemployed. At the same time, the number of new layoffs, as measured by initial claims for unemployment insurance, also increased.
The labor force in the Northwest Georgia region grew by 1,845 in July to 398,267.
The number of initial claims filed in the Northwest Georgia area for unemployment insurance increased by 946, or 35.2 percent, to 3,636 in July. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 1,854, or 33.8 percent, from 5,489 in July 2014.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.5 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for July was 6.0 percent, down from 6.1 percent in June. It was 7.2 percent in July 2014.