By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)
The unemployment rate has increased slightly while more jobs have become available. That assumed paradox was at play in the latest report issued by the Georgia Department of Labor.
Data from the month of May shows Georgia added close to 16,000 jobs statewide as about 6,500 new people entered the workforce. All told it produced a rise in the unemployment rate from 8.2% in April to 8.3% in May. Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says the new job growth last month should be a major focus of the report;
"Even though our rate did go up slightly...we still had a lot of good news. We saw the business sector continue to hire, and probably even more importantly for Georgia's economy, we saw construction add 2,500 jobs, so even though we did see the rate kind of pop up a little bit, overall we're still seeing some positive signs for Georgia's economy."
There were some negative indicators in the report however, including a rise in layoffs in May by nearly 10% statewide, many in the manufacturing industry, and for the first time in a year the rate of long-term unemployment, those out of work for six months or more, rose, though only by 3/10 of a point.
By contrast, the unemployment rate in May 2012 was 9.1%.
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