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Georgia's unemployment rate jumps

Georgia's unemployment rate jumped to 5.2 percent in January, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. That's up six-tenths of a percent from 4.6 percent in December.

With January's increase, the unemployment rate has risen a full percentage point over the past two months. The last time the state experienced a one-point increase in the unemployment rate from November to January was 16 years ago. The rate increased from 4.3 percent in November of 1991 to 5.3 percent in January 1992.

Michael Thurmond, state labor commissioner, said he is concerned by the state's weak labor market.

"Clearly, the credit crisis and slumping housing sector are negatively impacting the job market," he said. "We're monitoring the situation closely and are prepared to respond."

The department of labor attributed the rate's jump to across-the-board job losses in construction, manufacturing, trade and services.

From December to January, Columbus lost 2,300 payroll jobs. That's a 1.9 percent decline from 122,900 to 120,600.

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