Cherokee’s unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a point from 5.7 percent in November to 5.6 percent in December, staying at its lowest point since 2008 for two consecutive months.
Georgia Department of Labor spokeswoman Lauren Staley said Cherokee County last saw an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent in August 2008.
In December 2012, Cherokee’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent, according to seasonally unadjusted figures released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.
Forsyth had the lowest unemployment rate in the area at 5 percent, with Cherokee County posting the second lowest rate at 5.6 percent.
Nearby counties’ unemployment rates for December are: Bartow at 7 percent, Cobb at 6.1 percent, DeKalb at 7.2 percent, Douglas at 7.3 percent, Fulton at 7.5 percent, Forsyth at 5 percent and Paulding at 6.3 percent.
Statewide, the December unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November.
In December 2012, the statewide unemployment rate was 8.7 percent.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose in Cherokee, from 417 in November to 595 in December, an increase of 42.7 percent or 178 claims. In December 2012, there were 603 initial claims in Cherokee.
From December 2012 to December 2013, Cherokee saw a decrease of 8 initial claims for unemployment insurance, a 1.3 percent drop.
The number of layoffs, which are represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, increased by 44.8 percent in metro Atlanta, from 16,222 in November to 23,493 in December, a rise of 7,271.
Throughout the state, the number of initial claims rose from 33,781 in November to 65,889 in December, an increase of 95 percent, or 32,108 claims. Over the year, Georgia saw the number of initial claims increase by 29.5 percent.
Layoffs increased in many sectors, primarily in manufacturing, construction, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services.
In Cherokee, the number of eligible workers rose from 114,610 in November to 115,003 in December, the seasonally unadjusted figures show.
The number of eligible workers is determined by adding the number of people employed and those actively seeking employment.
Of the eligible workers in Cherokee, 108,534 were employed and 6,469 were unemployed in December, compared with 108,057 employed and 6,553 unemployed in November.
In metro Atlanta, employers added 2,500 jobs in November, bringing the total number of jobs up to 2,450,900, the GDOL figures show. Most new jobs came in the industries of professional and business services, trade, transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.