Friday, April 6, 2001

Unemployment up slightly

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said last week that the unemployment rate in the metropolitan Atlanta area rose three-tenths percent in February.

The rate rose to 3 percent, up from 2.7 percent in January, but down from 3.1 percent in February of 2000.

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate rose in February because some workers in manufacturing and service-related industries were temporarily laid off. But, the latest 12-month report shows an increase of 43,800 jobs since February 2000, mostly in trade and services.

Georgia's unemployment rate rose in February, for the second consecutive month, to 3.4 percent, despite the fact that the number of jobs continued to grow at a modest rate. The February rate was up from 3.3 percent in January and 3.0 percent in December. A year ago, the state's jobless rate stood at 3.8 percent.

"Although job growth has slowed to an annual rate of 2.1 percent, we're still adding new jobs in retail trade and service-related industries," Thurmond said.

"Employers still have hundreds of available jobs listed with the Georgia Department of Labor, and our staff is actively engaged in matching those jobs with job seekers. Help is available for them through our 53 career centers located throughout the state."

In February, Georgia added 17,400 new jobs, and the latest 12-month report shows that 82,500 jobs have been added since February of 2000, mostly in retail trade and services. That total represents a 2.1 percent annualized growth rate, down from 3.8 percent at that same time the previous year.

The labor department reported 4,014,000 jobs in the state last month, up from 3,996,600 in January. A total of 3,931,500 jobs were reported in February of 2000.

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