Columbus’ unemployment rate up in October

Metro Columbus' unemployment rate rose in October to 8.3 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.1 percent in September. The new figures were released today by the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate was 8.7 percent in October 2012.

Because of the federal government shutdown, no states were allowed to publish local labor market data for September. During the interim, the rate for Columbus fell from 8.5 percent in August to 8.1 percent for September.

The hike in the unemployment rate for October is being blamed on new layoffs and the number of unemployed residents.

The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, increased to 1,114, up by 144, or 14.8 percent, from 970 in September. Claims were filed in several sectors, led by manufacturing and construction, trade and transportation, and accommodations and food services. There were 1,389 claims in October 2012.

The number of unemployed people in Columbus increased to 10,717, up by 278 from 10,439 in September. There were 11,532 unemployed in October 2012.

While the jobless rate was up, the number of jobs rose to 120,300, up by 500, or 0.4 percent, from 119,800 in September. Most of the jobs were added in retail trade, state and local government, and the insurance industry. Over the year, the number of jobs was up by 100 from 120,200 in October 2012. Most of the increase came in retail trade.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.9 percent. 

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October a year ago.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at


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