After Cherokee’s jobless rate was seasonally adjusted for April to 7 percent, the county saw a one-tenth percentage point increase in unemployment in May.
The 7.1 percent unemployment rate for May is also one-tenth of a percentage point higher than May 2011’s rate.
However, the increase reflects a similar rise in the metro Atlanta rate to 8.6 percent, and the local rate remains the lowest among nearby counties, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
Cherokee’s labor force grew slightly in the last month to 113,385, up from 112,765 in April and up from 112,489 a year ago.
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce President Pam Carnes said the slim increase shouldn’t be of concern to the community.
“I think we just need to keep an eye on (unemployment) and if we do see an increase, it’s something we would need to concentrate on,” she said.
But she admitted that is easier said than done, noting last month’s influx of residents and the continued uncertain job market.
“We want to get it down much lower than 7 percent, but as long as we remain below metro and state levels it shouldn’t be much of a concern for now,” Carnes said.
The county’s number of employed residents also increased to 105,284 in May from 104,834 in April and 103,552 in May a year ago. The number of unemployed residents also grew slightly to 8,101 from 7,931 last month, a decrease from 8,937 in May 2011.
Other area rates include Bartow at 8.9 percent, Clayton at 10.1 percent, Cobb at 8.1 percent, DeKalb at 9 percent, Douglas at 9.1 percent, Fayette at 7.6 percent, Fulton at 9.5 percent, Gwinnett at 7.7 percent, Henry at 8.6 percent, Paulding at 8.3 percent and Rockdale at 9.9 percent.
The state department announced in a release Thursday the metro Atlanta rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in April. The rate was 9.5 percent in May 2011.
They said the rate increased because the labor force grew by 16,578 job seekers, and while most found jobs within the month, 6,008 did not. Also, the agency said there were 269 new layoffs in professional and technical services, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services.
The metro Atlanta jobless numbers and local area employment rates are not seasonally adjusted.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.9 percent stayed the same from April to May. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in May 2011.
The number of jobs in the state grew to 3,944,900 in May, an increase of 16,400 from April and by 34,000 from May a year ago.
In metro Atlanta, jobs increased to 2,345,800, up by 11,500 over the month and 27,900 over the year.