Augusta metro unemployment rate rises

A higher number of unemployed on the South Carolina side of the metro area caused the jobless rate to tick slightly upward in December.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Augusta’s jobless rate was 8.9 percent in December, up from 8.7 percent in November. The unemployment rate in December 2010 was 8.8 percent.

For the six-county area, there were 236,142 people with jobs and 22,994 unemployed in December. The number of unemployed jumped 432 people from November, most of that increase coming from Aiken County.

The local rate remains better than the state averages: 9.5 percent in South Carolina and 9.7 percent in Georgia.

Richmond and Columbia counties were unchanged. Burke, McDuffie, Aiken and Edgefield counties all had increases in the jobless percentage.

Columbia County at 6.9 percent is the fifth-lowest in Georgia.

BY THE NUMBERS

A look at the county-by-county jobless numbers:

Richmond: 9.9 percent in December, unchanged from November, down from 10.1 percent in December 2010

Columbia: 6.9 percent in December, unchanged from November, unchanged from December 2010

Burke: 11.3 percent in December, up from 10.8 percent in November, up from 11.1 percent in December 2010

McDuffie: 10.8 percent in December, down from 10.9 percent in November, up from 10.1 percent in December 2010

Aiken: 8.5 percent in December, up from 8.0 percent in November, up from 8.3 percent in December 2010

Edgefield: 9.5 percent in December, up from 8.7 percent in November, up from 9.2 percent in December 2010

Sources: Georgia Department of Labor, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce

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