The jobless rates in metro Savannah and coastal Georgia saw decreases in July, according to the state labor department.
The Georgia Department of Labor announced last week that metro Savannah’s unemployment rate decreased to 8.7 percent in July, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.8 percent in June. The rate was 8.9 percent in July a year ago.
The rate declined because the number of layoffs, represented by new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, decreased by 436, or 23.5 percent, to 1,418, down from 1,854 in June, according to the labor department. Most of the decline came in transportation, warehousing, and accommodations and food services.
A labor department press release said there were 157,500 jobs in July in metro Savannah, down by 1,500 from 159,000 in June. Most of the job loss came in local government and leisure and hospitality. The area has gained 700 jobs since the 156,800 jobs in July 2012. The annual gains came mostly in trade and transportation, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 648 to 181,812 in July, down from 182,460 in June. It was down by 2,084 from 183,896 in July 2012.
In the state’s coastal region, the unemployment rate decreased to 9.4 percent in July, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.5 percent in June. The rate was 9.6 percent in July a year ago.
According to the labor department, the rate declined because the number of unemployed residents declined by 618 to 29,897. There were 289,674 employed residents.
The labor force declined by 812 to 319,571 in July, down from 320,383 in June. It was down by 2,667 from 322,238 in July 2012.
The number of layoffs, represented by new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased by 127, or 4.3 percent, to 3,086 from 2,959 in June. Claims were up in manufacturing, construction and trade.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.9 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region tied for the highest at 12.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 8.8 percent, up from 8.5 percent in June. The rate was 9.1 percent in July a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.