Summer seasonal layoffs in the Augusta metro area were offset by additional construction and business services jobs in July.
The area had a net gain of 200 jobs in July, according to data released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.
The metro area lost 900 jobs in local government, education and health services and hospitality, while gaining 1,100 jobs in construction, professional and business services, transportation and retail.
In total, there were 221,000 jobs in the metro area last month, state data showed. That is 6,500 more than in July 2013 and 7,600 more than July 2012.
Fueled by the seasonal layoffs, the number of people making initial claims for unemployment rose in July to 1,955 from 1,668 in June. A year ago, the initial jobless benefit claims were 2,600.
Seasonal layoffs affected Georgia’s unemployment rate, which increased from 7.4 percent to 7.8 percent.
“The July rate increase is primarily due to temporary seasonal layoffs in local government and manufacturing,” said state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Most of those individuals have already gone back to work.”
There were 4,098,400 jobs in Georgia in July, which is 12,800 fewer than in June, with the bulk of the loss in local government educational services.
There were 42,658 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in July, an increase of 12.5 percent from June. About one-third of the new claims were from temporary layoffs.
The metro and county unemployment rate will be released by the state next week.