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Alpharetta's Unemployment Rises, But Still Lowest in Georgia

Out of the cities the Georgia Department of Labor tracks, Alpharetta was tied for lowest unemployment with Roswell and Sandy Springs at 6.4 percent.

Alpharetta still has the lowest unemployment rate of any city measured by the Georgia Department of Labor, but in December 2012 it rose half a percent to match Roswell and Sandy Springs.

Alpharetta's revised unemployment rate for November 2012 was 5.9 percent. But the addition of 219 workers to the city's labor force, and  the loss of jobs by another 65 people caused the rate to jump.

Even the 6.4 percent preliminary rate in December 2012 for Alpharetta is lower than the rate a year ago, which was 6.6 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Atlanta rose to 8.4 percent in December, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.0 percent in November. The rate was 8.9 percent in December 2011.

City                     Rate

Alpharetta           6.4%
Johns Creek          7.0
Roswell                 6.4
Sandy Springs       6.4
Metro Atlanta        8.4
Georgia                8.6

The rate rose because of a combination of factors – a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits and an increase in the labor force, as more people began searching for work. December graduations should add numbers to the labor force, and until those recent grads get jobs, they are counted as unemployed.

There were 115 more new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and accommodations and food services. While the initial claims were up from November to December, they were down by 4,916, or 18.3 percent, from 26,828 in December 2011. The decline in claims led to an over-the-year drop in the area’s jobless rate.

Roswell – 6.4%

Roswell, which has the largest labor force in North Fulton above the Chattahoochee River, tied Alpharetta for lowest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. That still was an increase of three tenths of a percent from November 2012. But, like most cities in Georgia, a year ago the unemployment rate was even higher at 6.6 percent.

Johns Creek – 7.0%

Johns Creek also saw a significant rise in unemployment from November to December, increasing four-tenths of a percent to 7 percent. The city's labor force grew to 37,016, but the number of unemployed residents also rose, from 2,433 to 2,591.  A year ago the city's unemployment was only slightly higher at 7.1 percent.

Sandy Springs – 6.4%

Sandy Springs had 56,877 residents counted in the labor force last month, and 3,658 were counted as unemployed. That put the unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, a slight rise from November's final numbers at 6.1 percent. Again the December 2011 number was even higher, at 6.8 percent.

Fulton County – 9.3%

Fulton County as a whole recorded a preliminary unemployment rate of 9.3 percent last month, rising from 8.9 percent in November 2011. The increase still didn't top the rate of a year ago, which hit 9.7 percent.

Georgia – 8.6%

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in November. The rate was 9.4 percent in December a year ago.

The labor force, those employed or actively searching for a job, increased by 6,174, rising from 2,749,348 to 2,755,522 in December. The new jobseekers are counted as unemployed until they get work.

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