The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in June was 5 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 4.7 percent in May. In June 2016, the rate was 5.6 percent.

Metro Rome’s unemployment rate in June was 5.5 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.1 percent in May. In June 2016, the rate was 6.3 percent.

The rate rose as the number of unemployed residents increased and the labor force grew.

The number of unemployed increased by 1,541 to 20,933. There were 1,975 fewer unemployed than in June 2016.

The labor force increased, partially because high school and college students entered the job market. From May to June, the labor force, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, increased by 2,265 to 417,019. Compared to June a year ago, the labor force had a net increase of 11,183.

Although the rate rose, there were still 724 more Northwest Georgia area residents employed in June than in May, pushing the total number to 396,086. The increase in the number of employed residents in June grew by 13,158 from June 2016.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, decreased by 366, or 16.8 percent, to 1,819. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 894, or 33 percent, from 2,713 in June 2016.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.3 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for June was 4.8 percent, down from 4.9 percent in May. It was 5.3 percent in June 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In June, 2,951 new job openings in the Northwest Georgia region were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 71,261 new job openings were posted.