Augusta unemployment rose slightly in October, but was still improved over the same month in 2012, the state labor department said Thursday.
In data released Thanksgiving Day, the Georgia Department of Labor reported metro Augusta’s jobless rate increased to 8.1 percent in October, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.9 percent in September. That rate, however, was better than the 8.6 percent of October a year ago.
The labor agency cited three reasons for the change: an increase in new layoffs, an increase in the number of unemployed residents, and a loss of jobs.
The number of unemployed people in Augusta increased to 20,808, up by 299 from 20,509 in September. There were 22,704 unemployed in October 2012.
Also, metro Augusta lost 400 jobs in October, down to 215,600 from September. According to a news release, most of the job losses came in professional and business services. However, over the year, jobs were up by 1,400, or 0.7 percent, from 214,200 in October 2012. The job gains were mostly in retail trade, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.
Across Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while southeast Georgia had the highest at 10.9 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September, the labor department said. The rate was 8.8 percent in October a year ago.