Columbus unemployment rate jumps in first month of year

Columbus unemployment rose in the first month of this year, according to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

The metro Columbus area unemployment increased to 9.8 percent in January, up four-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.4 percent in December. The jobless rate in the metro Columbus area in January 2010 was 10.2 percent.

The rate increased because of layoffs in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services, according to the Labor Department..

Unemployment rates increased in all areas of the state in January except in metro Warner Robins, where the rate remained steady. Of the 25 local areas, metro Warner Robins had the lowest January jobless rate at 7.8 percent, while the highest rate was in metro Dalton at 13.0 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 10.4 percent in January, once again hitting the state’s all-time high. The state’s jobless rate was also 10.4 percent in January 2010.