Metro unemployment rate unchanged

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 9:47 AM
Last updated 10:47 AM
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Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for September was unchanged from August at 9.6 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday morning.

A year ago, the jobless rate was 8.9 percent.

According to the data, one dynamic different from this year to last year is the higher number of people looking for work and not finding it, increasing both the workforce total and the unemployed total. The workforce in September was 261,187, higher than a year ago by 2,250 people. The number of unemployed is higher by 2,174, the state reported.

The lowest metro area rates in Georgia were Athens and Warner Robins, both at 8 percent, while the highest, at 12.5 percent, was in metro Dalton. The lowest in South Carolina was Greenville at 8.7 percent, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce. The Florence metro area was the highest at 11.5 percent.

Aiken County’s jobless percentage increased in September from 9.3 to 9.6 percent. Edgefield County, however, declined from 10.8 percent to 10.3 percent.

Richmond County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly, from 10.7 percent in August to 10.6 percent last month.

Columbia County remained unchanged at 7.6 percent, making it the fifth lowest county in Georgia.

Burke County’s unemployment improved by more than a percentage point, from 11.4 percent to 10.2 percent. McDuffie County also improved, from 11.8 percent in August to 11.1 percent in September.

September is the 50th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent. The state’s jobless rate is 10.3 percent.

South Carolina at 11 percent also exceeded the national rate.

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