The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced on Jan. 26 that the unemployment rate in the Georgia Mountains region in December was 4.5 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 4.3 percent in November. In December 2015, the rate was 4.4 percent.
The unemployment rate in Dawson County also went up two-tenths of a percentage from 4.3 in November to 4.5 in December. The rate in December 2015 was 4.5 percent.
The rate rose as the number of unemployed residents, labor force and number of new layoffs increased.
There were 571 more unemployed residents and the labor force grew by 1,221 to 329,144. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 335, or 21.3 percent, to 1,905 in December. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and construction, trade, transportation and warehousing, and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 1,017, or 34.8 percent, from 2,922 in December 2015.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha and River Valley regions had the highest at 6.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for December was 5.4 percent, up from 5.3 percent in November. It was 5.5 percent in December 2015.
Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL's online job listing service, employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employers. In December, 1,937 new job openings in the Georgia Mountains region were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 57,920 new job openings were posted.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at dol.georgia.gov.