The unemployment rate in Georgia rose slightly, to 8.3 percent, in May, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s Department of Labor.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 8.2 percent in April and 9.1 percent in May 2012.
“The rate increased primarily because more job seekers entered the labor force looking for work,” State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “And, there was a slight increase in layoffs, many of which were temporary. Despite the slight increase in the unemployment rate, Georgia employers continued to create jobs for the fourth consecutive month, giving us the largest number of jobs we’ve had since December 2008.”
The number of people entering the labor force, those employed and actively seeking employment, rose by 6,435 to about 4.8 million from April to May, according to the state.
The number of layoffs, which is represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, rose by nearly 10 percent, from 42,644 in April to 46,882 in May. The increases were mostly temporary layoffs in manufacturing, accommodations and food services, educational services, and health care and social assistance.
The number of jobs increased by 15,800, to about 4 million. The majority of those positions were in leisure and hospitality.
The number of long-term unemployed workers rose for the first time in 12 months, up 0.3 percent to 177,600 from 177,100 in April. The long-term unemployed – those out of work for more than 26 weeks – make up 44.2 percent of all unemployed in Georgia.
In the metro Augusta area, 2,100 jobs were added to the market since last May, representing a 1 percent increase. The number of initial unemployment insurance claims rose 15.8 percent, from 1,743 last May to 2,019 in May 2013.