The Labor Department’s survey of employers, released Thursday with the state unemployment rate, showed a revised December jobs number of 219,100 in the six-county area. That’s 2,200 jobs higher than previously released data on December and is a result of the annual benchmarking process by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which adjusted the statistics for 2013.
From the new December level, labor statisticians said the metro area then fell to 215,800 jobs in January.
The largest decline was in the retail sector, which trimmed 1,000 jobs after the holiday shopping season.
The Labor Department also said there were losses in education and health services of about 900 jobs, plus about 500 jobs in state government.
Slight losses were reported in hospitality, manufacturing, business services, information and local government, which add up to the net loss of 3,300 jobs from December to January.
Comparing the revised January figures to January 2013, the metro area is 200 jobs lower than the 216,000 reported.
Economists have previously said it is sometimes difficult to analyze Augusta’s job market data because of the large numbers of contract workers, who are either employed at Fort Gordon or with building projects such as Plant Vogtle, because they’re initially counted where the company is headquartered and then applied to Augusta’s jobs figures during the revision.
Comparing the revision to the estimates, the Labor Department previously overstated the number of people working in retail and understated the numbers in hospitality, manufacturing, wholesale trade and information.
The metro area's unemployment rate for January, also delayed from the benchmarking, will be released next week. February's employment data will be released on-time on March 20 and March 27.