The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for July was 6.1 percent, unchanged from June. The rate in July 2014 was 7.9 percent.
While the rate was unchanged, there were some positive movements in the labor force. The number of jobs increased, the number of new layoffs decreased and the labor force grew.
The number of jobs in Metro Savannah, which is defined as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, increased by 800, or 0.5 percent, in July to 170,700. The job gains came in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, mining, logging and construction.
And there was an over-the-year gain of 3,700 jobs, or 2.2 percent, from July 2014. Most of the job growth came in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 287, or 23.5 percent, to 932 in July. Most of the decrease came in transportation and warehousing. Over the year, claims were down by 139, or 13 percent, from 1,071 in July 2014.
Metro Savannah’s labor force grew in July to 174,980, an increase of 1,559 from June.
In the Coastal Georgia region, which includes Bryan County, the July unemployment rate was 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent in June. It was 7.2 percent in July 2014. All of the region’s numbers are identical to statewide unemployment figures.
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.