Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate jumps to 8.9 percent in June

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.9 percent in June from 8.2 percent in May, as large numbers of education workers were laid off for the summer and new high school and college graduates searched for work, the state labor department said Thursday.

June typically sees a rise in the jobless rate because of school layoffs and graduations. Last year, for example, metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent in June from 8.7 percent in May.

Although the jobless rate increased, the number of jobs in metro Atlanta grew for the fifth consecutive month in June — up by 4,300 to reach 2,412,800.

While the private sector actually added 7,800 jobs, the overall gain was reduced by a loss of 3,500 jobs in government. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services — 4,400; leisure and hospitality — 2,600; financial services — 2,200; information services — 1,000; manufacturing — 600; and construction — 500.

Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 56,300, or 2.4 percent, from June 2012.

The labor force — the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work — rose by 4,061 from May to reach 2,766,961 in June.

For the core metro Atlanta counties, Gwinnett had the lowest jobless rate at 7.9 percent, followed by Cobb at 8.0 percent, DeKalb (9.3) percent, Fulton (9.8 percent) and Clayton (11.0) percent.

Metro Athens had the state’s lowest area jobless rate at 7.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 12.9 percent.

Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent in June from 8.3 percent in May.

Both the state and metro Atlanta continue to trail the national rate, currently 7.6 percent.