Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose to 8.0 percent in July from 7.5 percent in June, primarily because of seasonal layoffs in education and manufacturing, the state labor department said Thursday.
There were 19,271 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in July — an increase of 9.1 percent from June. Most of the increase came from temporary layoffs in manufacturing, administrative services and retail trade. The labor department said many of the laid-off workers have returned to their jobs.
This was the first July since 2008 when metro Atlanta’s jobless rate increased from June. From 2009 to 2013, the metro area’s unemployment rate dropped or remained the same from June to July, according to government figures.
Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the state’s jobless rate also is going in the wrong direction. Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 7.8 percent in July from 7.4 percent in June.
Georgia now has the second-highest jobless rate in the nation, behind only Mississippi at 8.0 percent. The national rate was 6.2 percent in July.
For the core metro Atlanta counties, Gwinnett had the lowest unemployment rate at 7.1 percent. It was followed by Cobb at 7.2 percent, DeKalb (8.3 percent), Fulton (8.7 percent) and Clayton (9.6 percent).
The number of jobs in metro Atlanta totaled 2,461,200 jobs in July, down by 2,700 from June. Most of the loss came in local government.
Metro Atlanta’s private sector created 8,900 jobs in July. Most of the growth came in professional and business services — 2,900 new jobs; trade, transportation and warehousing — 2,700; financial activities and information services — 1,400 each; leisure and hospitality — 700; manufacturing — 400; and construction — 100.
During the past year, 63,900 jobs were created in metro Atlanta. That helped bring the area’s unemployment rate down from 8.3 percent in July 2013.
Most of the growth came in professional and business services — 20,400 new jobs; trade, transportation and warehousing — 15,000; leisure and hospitality — 12,200; manufacturing — 4,300; construction and financial services — 4,100 each; information services — 3,300; education and health services — 2,400.
The federal government lost 400 jobs.