Dalton jobless rate rises to highest in the state

The tightening labor market has seen employers forgo layoffs out of fear they may not be able to replace the workers they let

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in January was 5.8 percent, up six-tenths of a percentage point from 5.2 percent in December.

The rate rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased, according to the press release.

Indiana County's seasonally adjusted labor force in January decreased 1,600 to 39,400.

In Metro Savannah, the number of jobs decreased by 1,000, or 0.6 percent, to 177,000. Job growth came in the service industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing, along with federal and local government. Job growth came mostly in the service industries, including education and health services.

In January, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, more than tripled in metro Dalton to 3,808 as many carpet mills cut back production at the start of the year. Most of the increase came in construction and arts, entertainment and recreation.

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The jobless rate jumped 1.2 percent in January in Whitfield County to 6.9 percent and rose in Murray County by 1 percentage point to 7.8 percent. The number of unemployed residents rose by 397 to 2,863, while the number of employed residents decreased by 127 to 41,218. The number of employed residents dropped from 10,012 to 9,974 while the number of unemployed residents grew from 564 to 632. (Karen Lentz/MEDILL) Continuing claims in IL were up 2,282 for the week ended February 25 from the previous week, but down by 6,980 from a year ago.

Butts County's labor force also grew from 10,576 to 10,606.

Continuing claims, the current number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance benefits, fell by 30,000 to 2,030,000 for the week ended March 4. The metro Gainesville and Georgia Mountains regions had the lowest January jobless rate in the state at 4.8 percent.

The department encourages job seekers and employers to use its online job listing service employgeorgia.com. Throughout the state, 64,018 new job openings were posted.

Photo at top: New job openings on display at Evanston restaurant.

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