Preliminary numbers released by the Georgia Department of Labor today indicated an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent in January in the six counties that make up metro Augusta.
The rate is up a full percentage point from the 7.7 percent reported for December for Richmond, Columbia, Burke, McDuffie, Edgefield and Aiken counties.
The Labor Department reported that 22,493 people were unemployed in January, up from 14,878 in January 2008.
According to data, Columbia County had an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent in January. It was 9.6 percent in Richmond County.