Metro Atlanta's Unemployment Rate Rises

Mar 14, 2013

More than 29,000 people in metro Atlanta started 2013 with a pink slip.

The area's jobless rate for January was 8.7%, according to the state Labor Department.  That's up slightly from December, when it was 8.4%.

Most of those laid off were seasonal workers with temporary jobs.

"So the good news is the recovery is still intact.  We're still growing.  I expect to see about 1.4% job growth state-wide in Georgia in 2013.  Slightly better than that in metro Atlanta, actually," says Dr. Jeff Humphreys, with the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.  

Among the fields hardest hit at the start of the year were construction, trade and warehousing. 

However, Humphreys is still optimistic about the future.

"We've replaced about 45% of the jobs that we lost to the great recession in Georgia, so we're about half-way back to recovering the jobs we lost."

In metro Atlanta, Gwinnett County had the lowest unemployment rate at 7.6%, while Fulton had the highest at 9.4%.

Statewide, Athens-Clarke County came in the lowest jobless rate, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region and metro Dalton were tied with the highest rate.