The preliminary unemployment rate in metro Dalton rose to 12.7 percent in January, up from a revised 12.3 percent in December 2011, according to the state Department of Labor. The jobless rate in metro Dalton (Murray and Whitfield counties) in January a year ago was 13.6 percent.

The rate increased because there were layoffs in manufacturing.     

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.1 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.  

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the sixth month in a row to 9.2 percent in January, the lowest rate since March 2009 when it was 9.1 percent. That is a decline .2 percent from a revised 9.4 percent in December. The jobless rate was 10.1 percent in January 2011.

Statewide, the rate went down because about 13,000 more Georgians were employed in January than in December 2011. Also, newly revised numbers show that Georgia gained 83,700 jobs in the last 12 months. This is the largest January to January job growth since 2006.

Among the sectors showing growth over the year, professional and businesses services gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade gained 15,100, health care and social assistance grew by 11,100, and manufacturing gained 7,300.

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