Unemployment for the Augusta-Richmond County metropolitan statistical area was 9.1 percent for January, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
This was a slight increase from the 8.9 percent unemployment in December, and a slight decrease from the 9.3 percent unemployment in January 2011.
The Augusta-Richmond County MSA is made up of Burke, Columbia, McDuffie and Richmond counties in Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina.
According to a news release, the rate increased because there were layoffs in construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and administrative and support services.
Richmond County’s unemployment rate was 10.5 percent, Columbia County’s rate was 6.8 percent, Burke County’s rate was 12.1 percent and McDuffie County’s rate was 10.8 percent. Aiken County’s unemployment was 8.7 percent and Edgefield County’s rate was 9.5 percent.
The area civilian labor force has decreased by 3,545 job-seekers in the past year; currently the Augusta-Richmond County labor force is 255,430 people.
The state unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in January, and the national rate was 8.3 percent.
Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.1 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.