The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for May was 5.9 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from 5.4 percent in April. The rate in May 2014 was 7.1 percent.
The rate for Metro Savannah, which is defined as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, rose as jobs declined and new layoffs increased.
The number of jobs in Savannah decreased by 1,800, or 1.1 percent, in May to 169,700 down from 171,500 in April. Most of the job losses came in state government, primarily in non-contract school workers, as well as in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and manufacturing.
However, there was an over-the-year gain of 4,200 jobs, or 2.5 percent, from 165,500 in May 2014. Most of the job growth came in professional and business services, trade, transportation and warehousing, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, mining, logging and construction.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 213, or 29.7 percent, to 930 in May, up from 717 in April. Most of the increase came in transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 486, or 34.3 percent, from 1,416 filed in May 2014.
In the Coastal Georgia region, which includes Bryan County, the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from 5.6 percent in April but down from 7.3 percent in May 2014.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 6.3 percent, up from a revised 6.2 percent in April. It was 7.3 percent in May 2014.