The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in May was 4.7 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.6 percent in April. In May 2016, the rate was 4.9 percent. Metro Rome’s rate was up one-tenth of a point to 5.1  percent in April. In 2016 the rate was at 5.5 percent.

The rate rose as the labor force grew and there was an increase in layoffs as measured by initial claims for unemployment insurance.

From April to May, the labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, increased by 1,555 to 414,505. As the number of employed residents rose by 1,265 to 395,111, the number of unemployed also increased by 290 to 19,394.

Compared to May a year ago, the labor force had a net increase of 10,375. The number of employed grew by 10,745, and there were 370 fewer unemployed.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 98, or 4.7 percent, to 2,185. Most of the increase came in health care and social assistance, professional and technical services, accommodations and food services, along with wholesale trade,  Over the year, claims were down by 1,109, or 33.7 percent, from 3,294 in May 2016.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 3.9 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for May was 4.9 percent, down from 5 percent in April. It was 5.3 percent in May 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In May, 3,226 new job openings in the Northwest Georgia region were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 70,120 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at dol.georgia.gov

Visit dol.georgia.gov to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers and to connect with us on social media.