Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in May — up from a revised 9.8 percent in April, the state labor department reported Thursday.
The number of unemployed workers in the metro area increased by 3,113 to reach 262,571, the labor department said. A year ago, the jobless rate was 9.2 percent.
“We will not see a significant improvement in Georgia’s job market until small businesses begin hiring, which will lay a solid foundation for a sustainable economic recovery,” Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement.
Last week, the labor department reported that Georgia’s jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent in May, from 10.3 percent in April. It was the 32nd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent.
On the positive side, the number of jobs in metro Atlanta increased for the fourth consecutive month. There were 2,272,800 payroll jobs in May — an increase of 0.7 percent from April.
Also in May, 15.1 percent fewer workers in metro Atlanta filed initial claims for unemployment insurance than a year ago. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction and administrative services, the labor department said.
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