Columbus metro area unemployment rate rises from 7.9 percent in April to 8.5 percent in May

More local residents, including recent graduates, jumping into the job market, labor department says

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comJune 27, 2013 

With more people entering the labor force, including recent high school and college graduates, the Columbus metro area unemployment rate climbed from 7.9 percent in April to 8.5 percent in May.

That’s slightly better than the 8.7 percent figure a year ago.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that 1,019 local residents jumped into labor market last month, bringing to 131,926 the total number of individuals here either employed or actively seeking work.

That was offset somewhat with 800 jobs being created in the Columbus area, putting the local workforce at 120,700 in May, the department said. The job gains came in leisure and hospitalilty, trade and transportation, professional and business services, and federal and local government. Over the past year, however, Columbus is still down 100 government positions.

Among Georgia’s metro areas, Athens, home to the University of Georgia, had the lowest May unemployment rate at 6.2 percent. The highest was 10.7 percent in the carpet and floor-covering manufacturing hub of Dalton.

Georgia’s overall jobless rate, reported last week, came in at 8.3 percent, which was still better than 9.1 percent a year ago.

Rates varied among Georgia counties surrounding the Columbus metro area. Muscogee was 8.9 percent, with Harris at 6.4 percent, Troup at 9.1 percent, Chattahoochee at 17.4 percent, Marion at 7.2 percent, Talbot at 9.1 percent, Meriwether at 10.3 percent, Stewart at 12.1 percent and Webster at 7.7 percent.

In Alabama, the May unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, down slightly from 6.9 percent in May. The rate for the Auburn-Opelika metro area rose from 4.9 percent in April to 5 percent in May.

Here are the May 2013 unemployment rates for Georgia’s metro areas:

• Athens — 6.2 percent

• Gainesville — 6.9 percent

• Warner Robins — 7.5 percent

• Savannah — 7.9 percent

• Valdosta — 8.1 percent

• Atlanta — 8.2 percent

• Augusta — 8.4 percent

• Columbus — 8.5 percent

• Macon — 9 percent

• Hinesville — 9.3 percent

• Rome — 9.3 percent

• Albany — 9.5 percent

• Brunswick — 9.6 percent

• Dalton — 10.7 percent

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service