ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for January was 5.2 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 4.9 percent in December. The rate in January 2015 was 6.4 percent.
The rate rose as the number of jobs in Metro Savannah, which the U.S. Census defines as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, decreased to 172,500, down by 3,100, or 1.8 percent, from 175,600 in December. Most of the decrease came in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, state government, mining, logging and construction, and education and health services.
However, over the year, Metro Savannah gained 7,000 jobs, a 4.2 percent growth rate, up from 165,500 in January 2015. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, 1,900; leisure and hospitality, 1,300; education and health services, 1,100; and manufacturing, along with trade, transportation and warehousing, 1,000 each.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 302, or 22.7 percent, to 1,026 in January. Most of the decrease came in administrative and support services, transportation and warehousing, and accommodations and food services. Also, over the year, claims were down by 684, or 40 percent, from 1,710 in January 2015.
Unemployment also rose in Coastal Georgia, a 10-county region that includes Bryan, to 5.4 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 5.1 percent in December. The rate in January 2015 was 6.6 percent.
The region’s rate increased as the number of employed workers fell by 1,359 to 297,266.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance in Coastal Georgia declined by 342, or 15.3 percent, to 1,897 in January. Most of the decrease came in administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, and transportation and warehousing. Also, over the year, claims were down by 1,007, or 34.7 percent, from 2,904 in January 2015.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.5 percent, while Metro Dalton had the highest at 7.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 5.4 percent, down from 5.5 percent in December. It was 6.3 percent in January 2015.