Northwest Georgia's Unemployment Rate Rises To 5.8 Percent In January

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First-time claims for US unemployment benefits saw a modest decrease in the week ended March 11th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

In Coastal Georgia counties south of Bryan County, the January rate was 5.5 percent, up from 5.2 percent in December.

The rate rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased, according to the press release.

The number of jobs decreased by 100, or 0.1 percent, to 69,700. The layoffs were seen in the categories of manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction and trade, and transportation and warehousing.

When compared to the unemployment rates from January past year 89 counties had decreased, while five increased, and six stayed the same. Job losses were in professional and business services, trade, transportation and warehousing.

Total non-farm jobs in Indiana County decreased 1,700 to 31,000 in January.

The labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs, grew by 1,632 to 411,608.

According to the NC governor's office, the counties effected the most by unemployment rates were Hyde County with an increase of 16.3 percent. The number of unemployed residents rose by 472 to 9,475, while the number of employed residents increased by 828 to 173,354.

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Butts County's labor force also grew from 10,576 to 10,606.

The annual number of quits increased to 36.1 million in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 33.7 million in 2015. However, over the year, claims were down by 656, or 6.4 percent, from 10,280 in January 2016.

The Metro area with the highest unemployment rate is Rocky Mount, and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.6 percent.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL's online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employers.

Photo at top: New job openings on display at Evanston restaurant.

Decreases in new claims are typically an indication of an improving labor market as fewer individuals are losing jobs.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally-adjusted, the department said.