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Unemployment rises sharply in Pike

By Sherri Ellington As the workforce rose ‘“ and so did layoffs ‘“ Pike County unemployment in July was 10.3%, rising sharply from 8.7% in June. Joblessness was 8.8% in July 2012. In July the work force numbered 8,523 with 7,641 working and 882 seeking work. This compares to June numbers of 8,316 workers, 7,593 with jobs and 723 looking for work. In July 2012 there were 8,236 workers, 7,512 employed and 724 seeking work. Initial joblessness claims for Pike were 145 in July compared to 65 in June and 91 in July 2012. At 80 more people, the monthly change was 123.1%. The yearly change was 59.3% with 54 more people. In the Three Rivers region, Meriwether County remained at the highest unemployment at 15.2% with Lamar’s 13.2% in second place and Spalding in third at 12.7%. They are followed by Carroll, 12.5%; Heard, 12.4%; Butts, 11.8%; Upson, 11.7%; Troup, 10.8%; and Pike, 10.3%. The only county still in single digits is Coweta at 8.4%. The unemployment rate in the Three Rivers region increased to 11.1% in July, up 1.1% from 10% in June. The rate was 10.3% in July a year ago. The rate rose because there was an increase in new layoffs and in the labor force. The number of layoffs, represented by new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, increased by 2,935, or 118%, to 5,422 from 2,487 in June. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, administrative and support services and construction. There were 3,862 claims filed in July 2012. The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose by 4,587 to 240,971 in July, up from 236,384 in June. It was up by 7,034 from 233,937 in July 2012. Georgia’s unemployment rate for July was 8.8%, up from 8.5% in June. The rate was 9.1% in July 2012.

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