Georgia Department of Labor jobless statistics that were released Thursday showed Carroll County unemployment jumped from 8.9 percent in December to a preliminary 11.3 percent in January. The figure is also up more than a half percent from last January’s 10.7 percent.
“While some of the increase is due to seasonal layoffs from the holidays, some layoffs are likely due to the uncertainty in the labor market, due to the implementation of Obamacare,” said Dr. Joey Smith, director of the UWG Center for Business and Economic Research. “Some business people also feel the spending cuts brought on by the sequester could slow the economic growth, which is about 2 percent now, down a percentage point.”
Smith said many of the workers joining the jobless rolls in January were temporary workers, who aren’t counted in the manufacturing employment numbers, but show up in the unemployment figures when they file for claims.
Other West Georgia counties experienced similar jobless increases and the Atlanta metro area rate rose from 8.4 percent in December to 8.7 percent in January.
The Department of Labor said two factors were to blame — loss of seasonal employment and an increase in new layoffs.
Douglas County unemployment rose from 8.8 percent in December to 9.2 percent in January, but down from 9.9 percent last January.
Coweta County rose a percentage point from 7.8 percent in December to 8.8 percent in January, but was still down from 8.9 percent last January.
The Haralson County jobless rate increased from 8.5 percent in December to 9.6 percent in January, but was down from 10.2 percent last January.
Heard County’s rate was up to 11.3 percent, from 9.2 percent in December, and up slightly from 11.2 percent last January.
Paulding County saw a slight increase from 8.1 percent in December to 8.2 percent in January, but down from 8.9 percent last January.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 8.7 percent from December to January, but the unadjusted rate rose from 8.7 percent to 9.1 percent. Both were down from rates last January of 9.3 and 9.6 percent, respectively.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted rate rose slightly from 7.8 to 7.9 percent, but was down from 8.3 percent last January. The unadjusted rate rose from 7.6 to 8.5 percent, but was down from 8.8 percent last January.
The Georgia Department of Labor monthly figures are usually released about mid-month of the following month. However, Georgia DOL announced last month that the January county statistics would be delayed until March 14 due to the U.S. Labor Department’s annual re-benchmarking process, which reviews the data to make sure it’s as accurate as possible. The county jobless data for February will be released on March 28, while the state figures will come out March 21.