Cherokee County unemployment rose slightly to 7.3 percent in June, up four-tenths of a point from 6.9 percent unemployment in May, but the latest unemployment figures still put the county as one of the lowest in the metro area.
The increase in June was the second month Cherokee County saw a rise in unemployment and comes after several months of a downward trend that ended with the April unemployment rate dropping to 6.2 percent from 6.6 percent in March.
In June 2012, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent for Cherokee County.
The Georgia Department of Labor released its seasonally unadjusted figures Thursday, and the metro Atlanta unemployment rate also increased to 8.9 percent in June, up from 8.2 percent in May. In June 2012, the metro Atlanta unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.
State figures show Cherokee County has 115,872 eligible workers and 8,473 of those are unemployed. For June 2012, the figures showed 114,493 eligible workers and 8,581 were unemployed. In May, there were 116,042 eligible workers and 8,006 were unemployed.
President and CEO of Cherokee Bank Dennis Burnette said that many local business are seeing an increase in sales and revenue this year compared to last.
“I don’t see unemployment continuing to increase,” said Burnette, who also serves on the Atlanta Regional Commission. “I don’t think (the past two months) are representative of a long-term trend.”
The lowest unemployment rate in the area for June was Forsyth at 6.9 percent, and Cherokee County was second.
Nearby counties’ unemployment rates for June are: Bartow at 9.2 percent, Cobb at 8 percent, DeKalb at 9.3 percent, Douglas at 9.3 percent, Fulton at 9.8 percent, Forsyth at 6.9 percent and Paulding at 8.3 percent.
GDOL officials said in a news release Thursday that the unemployment rate rose primarily because there are a large number of education workers who are unemployed during the summer, and because recent graduates are considered unemployed until they get a job.
Although unemployment rose, officials said in the release that the number of jobs in the metro Atlanta area increased for the fifth consecutive month. The number of jobs increased by 4,300, or two-tenths of a point, to 2,412,800 jobs in June, up from 2,408,500 jobs in May.
Officials said that the private sector actually added 7,800 jobs, but the overall gain was less because of a loss of 3,500 government jobs.
Officials said most growth happened in the professional and business services industry (4,400 jobs), the leisure and hospitality industry (2,500 jobs), the financial services industry (2,200 jobs), the information services industry (1,000 jobs), the manufacturing industry (600 jobs) and the construction industry (500 jobs).
Since June 2012, the number of jobs in metro Atlanta have increased by 2.4 percent, or, by 56,300 jobs. In June there were 2,412,800 jobs, while in June 2012 there were 2,356,500 jobs.
Officials said the industries that have seen the most job gains are professional and business services (20,200 jobs), trade and transportation (10,800 jobs), health care and social assistance (10,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (8,300 jobs), information services (4,800 jobs), construction (4,200 jobs) and financial services (3,300 jobs).
Statewide, Georgia’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for June was 8.6 percent, up from 8.3 percent in May. In
June 2012, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.
Initial claims filed for unemployment insurance benefits in Cherokee County fell by 169, down 26.4 percent from 639 in May to 470 in June. Claims are down 21 percent from 595 in June 2012.
In the metro Atlanta area, the number of initial claims filed dropped by 10.4 percent from May to June. In May there were 21,677 claims in the metro Atlanta area, and in June there were 19,426 claims, down by 2,251.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits is down by 13.2 percent from 22,368 claims in June 2012, a decrease of 2,960 claims.
Statewide, Georgia had a 15.2 percent decrease in the number of claims filed for June, down 7,105 to 39,777 from 46,882 in May. Georgia has seen an 18.6 percent decrease in claims since June 2012, down 9,102.