5 facts behind metro Atlanta’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose from 6.0 percent to 6.1 percent in July, the state labor department said Thursday.

Here’s what is going on:

— Employers were hiring workers. The number of jobs grew by 3,600 from June to July, totaling 2,584,600 in the metro area. But the labor force grew as 21,000 more people were looking for work.

— The sectors that added employees included professional and business services and construction.

— There were job losses in local government and education and health services.

— Employers laid off slightly more people during the month. But over the year, there was a 13.6 percent drop in first-time claims for unemployment benefits.

— Over the past year, the state has added about 85,000 jobs. That brought the unemployment rate down from 7.6 percent in July of last year. But Georgia’s rate is still considerably higher than the 5.3 percent national average.

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