Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate rises to 8.7 percent in January

Employers in metro Atlanta laid off more workers in January, including many hired for the Christmas holiday season, driving up the area’s unemployment rate to 8.7 percent, from 8.4 percent in December, the labor department said Thursday.

The number of jobs in metro Atlanta declined by 29,100, or 1.2 percent, from December to January, the labor department said.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits jumped by 9,751, or 44.5 percent, from December to January, primarily because of seasonal layoffs. Most of the claims were filed in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services.

But the number of initial claims for benefits is down slightly from January 2012, when the jobless rate was 9.4 percent. Metro Atlanta started the year with 63,400 more jobs — a 2.8 percent increase — than it had in January 2012.

Over the past year, employment increased in professional and business services — by 18,000 jobs; trade, transportation, and warehousing — 13,600; leisure and hospitality — 12,000; and healthcare and social assistance — 10,700.

For the core metro Atlanta counties, Gwinnett had the lowest jobless rate at 7.6 percent. It was followed by Cobb at 7.8 percent, DeKalb (9.1 percent), Fulton (9.4 percent) and Clayton (11.0 percent).

Metro Athens had Georgia’s lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region tied for the highest at 11.9 percent.

Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate for January was 8.7 percent, unchanged from December.

The jobless rate for both the state and metro Atlanta remains considerably above the national rate, currently 7.7 percent for February. The state’s rate for February will be released next week, while the metro Atlanta rate for February is expected in two weeks.

23 comments Add your comment


March 14th, 2013
8:15 am

Thank you Georgia Republicans for continued high unemployment while the rest of the country has been in recovery for years.

What the

March 14th, 2013
8:17 am

That Mooslem in DC must have it out for Georgia. What else could explain our race to the bottom in so many categories?

Road Scholar

March 14th, 2013
8:43 am

What the: “What else could explain our race to the bottom in so many categories?”

Republicans! The governor and his legislature is in charge of Georgia’s economy.

Saul Good

March 14th, 2013
12:22 pm

Rupublicans have run this state for over 10 years now and have done SUCH a great job at proving that their “business friendly” policies don’t create jobs! They have failed and it continues to show year after year. Yet dummies keep voting for them and believing that they are business friendly and that they create jobs…it’s obvious tat they DESTRY jobs and a healthy , competitve work environment. When you vote republican you vote against your own best wishes and needs…you hurt your family as well.

btw GA…great job you’ve done with our education system the past 10 years as well!


March 14th, 2013
1:01 pm

If you consider the refusal to invest in critical infrastructure to be competitive, along with the pathetic/embarrassing/abominable school system.. no one should be surprised. Everyone is this state government seems only interested in lining the pockets of their associates at taxpayer expense. The transportation referendum might have even passed if anyone had reason to believe the government could competently administrate it. What exactly has Nathan Deal achieved? Can anyone tell me?

Bob Walters

March 15th, 2013
1:08 am

The real problem with Georgia is too much government, too much regulation, and taxes that stifle any hope of an expanding economy. It’s time to cut government in half, abolish the state income tax, and roll back property taxes by 75 percent. We’ve got a bunch of RINO’s in charge. Support your local Tea Party candidates and bring economic prosperity back to Georgia!!


March 15th, 2013
6:45 am


Yeah, right, the problem is that Georgia’s taxes are too high even though we’ve got some of the lowest tax rates in the country and the schools are too bankrupt to hire teachers. Sure, it’ll help business in the state to have even worse schools and a bankrupt gov’t. What a dolt.

John H.

March 15th, 2013
8:20 am

The article forgot to mention that there are 192,000 long term unemployed in Georgia, 425,000 total unemployed. And the state created only at best 80,000 jobs last year.


March 15th, 2013
2:57 pm

This red state can’t do anything right. The stupid voters here deserve to watch the wealthy fill up their gated communities while the rest of the population flounders.

Bob Walters

March 16th, 2013
12:14 am

Progress: Your absolutely correct the system of education is horrible in Georgia. It’s been run by the government for how many years now? Seems like the public sector has failed miserably and it’s time to privatize education. Let Georgia be the state that leads the way to complete privatization of the system of education.

Bob Walters

March 16th, 2013
12:15 am

Correction Your -> You’re (sorry I was edumacated in the GA public school system)


March 16th, 2013
1:45 am

Progress, keep slurping your Obama kool aid. The rest of the country is in recovery? Hmm…might wanna check out Michigan and Ohio for starters. Oh by the way, they voted for your boy.


March 16th, 2013
5:48 am

The problem is clear cut and has nothing to do with taxes. The problem is corporate greed, indecision, and incompetence. Corporate profits now stand at 14.2 percent, the largest share at any time since 1950, and only 61.7 percent goes to corporate employees, near its lowest since 1966. Corporate earnings have risen at an annualized rate of 20.1 percent since the end of 2008 while personal income has only risen 1.4 percent. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that publicly listed companies held an estimated $4.75 trillion in cash in 2012. Cash now represents more than 12 percent of corporate assets. Just sitting there looking at you and paying incompetent corporate management 20, 30, 76 million each year to stare out the widow and attend committee meetings. Oh – they also rail against excessive taxation and send millions to the elected Republican prostitutes to decry “too much spending” so there will not be any request to share this ill-gotten, unused wealth.


March 16th, 2013
12:32 pm

@ Bob,

Why on earth would anyone want to run education like the private sector? The private sector has been a resounding failure and nearly ran this country into the ground over the last 30 years. If you want to see something fail, put a CEO with an MBA in charge of it. He’ll make himself a bundle, make everyone around him poorer, and allow the infrastructure of the entity to collapse until it goes bankrupt. It’s amazing to me that your suggestions are limited to the very worst ideas possible, the ones that are the root of our problems. Yeah, let’s do more of that.

I dropped my fried twinkie

March 16th, 2013
10:13 pm

Private schools are everywhere and a lot better run than Government Liberal minded schools.


March 17th, 2013
12:32 am

@ fried twinkie-

Just because you spent 12 years in a classroom doesn’t mean you know anything about education (you don’t even know which words in a sentence should be capitalized). Private schools don’t do a better job of educating students; they just get better students to start with. Massachusetts has the best public schools in the country and some of the best in the world. “Government Liberal” schools work there. Why not here? Could it be the lack of funding and the hicks running things?


March 17th, 2013
7:21 am

Progress if you hate it soo much here go to the liberal utopia of California ,Georgia will be better without you


March 17th, 2013
9:31 am

More redneck, not better.


March 17th, 2013
11:36 am

@ the other Progress @ 1:45:

Unemployment in Ohio was at 6.7% by Dec 2012. That’s much better than the 8.7% for Georgia cited above and is a sign of recovery. Michigan was at 8.9%, but they’ve been a mess for years, ever since Republicans started shipping factory and auto jobs overseas decades ago. Yes, both of those states voted Blue in 2012, as did most populous and educated states, but both also have Republican state legislatures which is likely the reason their recoveries may be dragging behind the rest of the country. Republican economic policies have consistently been a disaster, no matter where or when they’ve been implemented. Do you have any more brilliant ideas you’d like me to shoot down for you?

Living With Open Eyes

March 17th, 2013
5:42 pm

Georgia’s state tourism slogan: “Georgia-Come on vacation, leave on probation.”


March 18th, 2013
2:07 pm

I thought the people in DC said the recession was over last year—what gives??? the job market around here is terrible.

[...] Angeles TimesUS Initial Jobless Claims Fall Again, Near A 5-Year LowInternational Business TimesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 116 news [...]

A. S. Mathew

March 20th, 2013
2:22 pm

Unemployment is declining more than expected nationwide, but in metro Atlanta, that is going up.
Whom to believe and what to believe? While checking with many small business people, nothing positive is taking place but remaining in the same old desperate condition.