The unemployment rate rose in metro Macon to 7.7 percent in January, up slightly from 7.6 percent in December. The rate was 9.4 percent in January a year ago.
The rate rose primarily because the number of jobs in Metro Macon decreased to 97,800 from 99,700 in December, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Labor. There were 97,600 jobs in the area in January 2013. Although the metro area lost jobs in January, the loss was less than the average January loss of 2,500 jobs for the last five years.
At the same time, the number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, decreased in January to 1,282 from 1,924 in December. There were 1,479 claims in January 2013.
The unemployment rate in metro Warner Robins decreased to 6.5 percent in January, down from 6.7 percent in December, according to the release. Warner Robins was one of three of the 14 metro areas where the rate declined in January. The rate was 7.6 percent in January a year ago.
The rate declined primarily because the number of new layoffs decreased to 533 from 869 in December. There were 576 claims in January 2013.
At the same time, the number of jobs in Metro Warner Robins decreased to 58,300 from 58,900 in December.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.8 percent.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted.
Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.