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Columbus metro area unemployment rate slides to 8.3 percent in November

A surge in jobs last month, combined with a decline in new unemployment claims, helped put a dent in the Columbus metro area’s jobless rate in November.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported today that the local rate in November was 8.3 percent, down from 8.7 percent in October. That’s also lower than the 8.5 percent rate posted in November a year ago.

The department said 1,200 jobs were created from October to November, the bulk of those in trade, transportation and warehousing, federal and local government, and finance and insurance. Professional and business services positions declined.

That labor market performance put the Columbus metro area workforce total at 120,300 last month. But that’s down by 700 jobs from this time a year ago.

A bright spot in the data included the decline of first-time unemployment claims filed by Columbus residents in November. There were nearly 300 fewer claims submitted.

Statewide, all but two metro areas saw their jobless rates fall in November, with Valdosta’s rising to 8.3 percent and Athens unchanged at 6.2 percent. Athens has the lowest rate in the state, while Dalton is highest at 11 percent.

Georgia’s overall unemployment rate last month was 8.5 percent, while Alabama’s was 7.5 percent.

Breaking down the performance in area counties, in Georgia, Muscogee came in at 8.5 percent, Harris at 6 percent, Chattahoochee at 17.1 percent, Troup at 9.2 percent, Meriwether at 9.8 percent, Talbot at 8.5 percent, Marion at 6.6 percent, Taylor at 12.1 percent, Stewart at 10.4 percent and Webster at 7 percent.

In Alabama, Lee County’s 5.6 percent was the state’s second-lowest unemployment rate in November, behind only Shelby County’s 4.6 percent. The rate was 8.6 percent in Russell, 8.2 percent in Chambers, 10.3 percent in Barbour, 8.9 percent in Macon, 8.2 percent in Tallapoosa and 14.1 percent in Bullock. The latter county has the second-highest jobless rate in Alabama.

GEORGIA'S METRO AREAS

Here are the November 2012 unemployment rates for Georgia’s metro areas:

Athens — 6.2 percent

Gainesville — 6.5 percent

Warner Robins — 7 percent

Savannah — 7.7 percent

Atlanta — 8 percent

Valdosta — 8.2 percent

Columbus — 8.3 percent

Hinesville — 8.4 percent

Augusta — 8.5 percent

Macon — 8.7 percent

Albany — 9.2 percent

Brunswick — 9.2 percent

Rome — 9.4 percent

Dalton — 11 percent

* Source: Georgia Department of Labor

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