Butts County's unemployment rate for January was 6 percent, up from a revised rate of 5.3 percent for December, according to Labor Department data.
Both area rates rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased. The county's jobless rate was at 5.7 percent a year ago in January 2016. The layoffs were seen in the categories of manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction and trade, and transportation and warehousing.
"Over the year, January to January, the number of jobs actually increased by 96,800 and this is the largest January-to-January job growth on record in Atlanta", Hall said. Job losses came in professional and business services, along with trade, transportation and warehousing.
In January, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, more than tripled in metro Dalton to 3,808 as many carpet mills cut back production at the start of the year. In January 2016, the rate was 6.2 percent.
Douglas County's labor force was 71,393 in January, with 67,312 employed. The number of employed residents dropped from 10,012 to 9,974 while the number of unemployed residents grew from 564 to 632.
According to the NC governor's office, the counties effected the most by unemployment rates were Hyde County with an increase of 16.3 percent.
Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, ticked down by 2,000 to 241,000.
Butts County's labor force also grew from 10,576 to 10,606. The number of unemployed increased by 797 to 4,500, while the number of employed individuals increased by 387 to 58,856. Dalton had the highest unemployment rate at the start of 2017 of any of Georgia's 14 metropolitan areas and the January rate for metro Dalton was 2 percentage points above the comparable USA rate for the same month. Previously, the December rate was reported at 5.4 percent. Throughout the state, 64,018 new job openings were posted.
The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.
Photo at top: New job openings on display at Evanston restaurant.