Unemployment rates rise for Georgia, Cherokee County
by Michelle Babcock
July 04, 2014 12:35 AM | 3334 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The local unemployment rate rose from 5.3 percent in April to 6.2 percent in May. Experts credit the jump to a seasonal increase, as new graduates entered the work force.

Along with the local unemployment rate, both the metro Atlanta and state unemployment rates rose from April to May, seasonally unadjusted figures released Thursday from the Department of Labor show.

Georgia Department of Labor spokesman Sam Hall said the labor force in metro Atlanta, for example, grew by 24,421 workers, up to 2,752,814 in May from 2,728,393 in April.

“The rate increase was seasonal, as new graduates entered the labor force looking for full-time work, while other students searched for part-time summer jobs,” Hall said of the rise in unemployment across the state. “While the rate rose, the number of jobs increased by 19,700, or 8 percent … The increase is significantly larger than the 10,100 average gain between April and May over the past three years.”

Hall said most new jobs added between April and May came in the professional and business services area, which added 6,900 jobs.

The second largest gain came in leisure and hospitality services, which added 4,700 jobs, figures show.

“The over-the-year job growth is the largest May-to-May increase since 2006,” he added.

The number of jobs increased by 59,400, or 2.5 percent, from 2,405,800 in May 2013, he said.

Cherokee County recorded 115,812 eligible workers, with 7,208 unemployed in May, or 6.2 percent, up from 114,605 eligible workers in April, with 6,124 unemployed, or 5.3 percent.

Last May, Cherokee recorded 114,782 eligible workers and 7,707 people unemployed, figures show.

The number of eligible workers is determined by adding the number of people employed and those actively seeking employment.

Forsyth had the lowest unemployment rate in the area for May at 5.9 percent, with Cherokee following second at 6.2 percent.

Nearby counties’ unemployment rates for May are: Bartow at 7.1 percent, Cobb at 6.8 percent, DeKalb at 7.6 percent, Douglas at 7.6 percent, Fulton at 8 percent, Forsyth at 5.9 percent and Paulding at 6.8 percent.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance in Cherokee rose slightly, from 413 claims in April to 427 claims in May — an increase of 14 claims, or 3.4 percent, over a month.

In the year since last May, the number of claims in Cherokee fell by 33.2 percent, meaning the county saw 212 less claims than in May 2013.

Since May 2013, the unemployment rate in Cherokee County fell by half of a percent, from 6.7 percent last year to 6.2 percent this year.

In metro Atlanta, the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 percent in April to 7.3 percent in May. Statewide, the unemployment rate went up from 6.9 percent in April to 7.2 percent in May, the figures show.

Since May 2013, the largest job gains came in professional and business services (20,100 jobs), trade, transportation and warehousing (14,600 jobs), leisure and hospitality (9,400 jobs), construction (7,100 jobs), education and health services (4,800 jobs), financial services (2,800 jobs), manufacturing (2,200 jobs) and information services (500 jobs). The government lost 1,400 jobs over the course of the year.

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