Layoffs in the retail, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services sectors pushed the Columbus metro area unemployment rate to 9.8 percent in January, the Georgia Department of Labor reported today.
The rate is up from a revised 9.4 percent in December, the department said, and compares to a 10.2 percent jobless rate in January 2010.
The spike in unemployment rates occurred in every Georgia metro area with the exception of Warner Robins, which was unchanged at 7.8 percent. That city, which has Robins Air Force Base as its major employer, also had the lowest rate in the state. Self-proclaimed carpet manufacturing capital Dalton was the highest at 13 percent.
An increase in the unemployment rate in January isn’t unusual with retailers and other seasonal businesses reducing staffing following the holidays.
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In individual Georgia counties, Muscogee posted a 9.7 percent jobless rate, with Harris at 7.3 percent, Chattahoochee at 17.3 percent, Troup at 7.3 percent, Meriwether at 13.8 percent, Talbot at 9.5 percent, Marion at 9.5 percent, Stewart at 10.3 percent and Webster at 10.3 percent.
The Georgia rate, reported by the department last week, was 10.4 percent in January.
Alabama, meanwhile, posted a 9.3 percent rate, with Shelby County faring the best at 7.1 percent and Wilcox County the worst at 21.7 percent.
Here are the January unemployment rates for Georgia’s metro areas:
Albany — 10.8 percent
Athens — 8 percent
Atlanta — 10.4 percent
Augusta — 9 percent
Brunswick — 10.6 percent
Columbus — 9.8 percent
Dalton — 13 percent
Gainesville — 9 percent
Hinesville — 9 percent
Macon — 10.5 percent
Rome — 11.1 percent
Savannah — 9.3 percent
Valdosta — 9.2 percent
Warner Robins — 7.8 percent