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Unemployment rate ticks up in Macon, Warner Robins area

This is the first stop for job seekers at the Georgia Department of Labor office in Macon as seen in August 2013.
This is the first stop for job seekers at the Georgia Department of Labor office in Macon as seen in August 2013. GRANT BLANKENSHIP/THE TELEGRAPH

The unemployment rate increased in Macon and Warner Robins areas in October.

Metro Macon’s unemployment rate in October was 5.9 percent, up from 5.7 percent in September, according to a release from the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate in October 2015 was 6.1 percent.

The unemployment rate in metro Warner Robins in October was 6.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in September. The rate in October 2015 was 6.4 percent.

The rate rose in both areas as the labor force and the number of new layoffs increased. Most of the increase in layoffs came in manufacturing.

In Macon, the labor force increased by 718 to 106,430. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed but are actively looking for jobs. The number of unemployed residents increased by 300 to 6,294, which contributed to the increase. The number of employed residents also increased by 418 to 100,136.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 332 to 958 in October. Over the year, claims were up by 72, or 8.1 percent, from 886 in October 2015.

The number of jobs increased by 700 to 104,800. Over the year, the area gained 1,600 jobs, a 1.6 percent growth rate.

In Warner Robins, initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 1,123 to 1,564 in October. Over the year, claims were up by 321 from 1,243 in October 2015.

The labor force increased by 1,022 to 82,636. While the number of employed residents increased by 40 to 77,093, the number of unemployed residents increased by 982 to 5,543, which contributed to the rate increase.

The number of jobs was unchanged at 70,800 from September to October. Over the year, however, the area gained 100 jobs, a 0.1 percent growth rate. Most of the job gains came in retail trade

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 5.2 percent, up from 5.1 percent in September. It was 5.5 percent in October 2015.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the Department of Labor’s online job listing service, http://www.employgeorgia.com, to search for jobs or recruit new employers. In October, 1,505 new job openings in Macon and 770 new jobs in Warner Robins were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 70,200 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.georgia.gov.

Linda S. Morris: 478-744-4223, @MidGaBiz

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