Jobless claims dip in latest sign of job market improvement

The tightening labor market has seen employers forgo layoffs out of fear they may not be able to replace the workers they let

First-time claims for USA unemployment benefits saw a modest decrease in the week ended March 11th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

But the rise in unemployment was countered by a growth in establishment payroll jobs, the labor department's non-seasonally adjusted data indicated.

Both area rates rose as the number of jobs declined, while the number of new layoffs increased.

Mack Clark, general manager for the Newnan Georgia Department of Labor, said jobs are available in Coweta.

The number of jobs increased by 6,500, or 0.1 percent, to 4,442,200.

When compared to the unemployment rates from January previous year 89 counties had decreased, while five increased, and six stayed the same. Job growth came mostly in the service industries, including education and health services.




The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 138, or 17.7 percent, to 917. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and administrative and support services. In January 2016, the rate was 6.2 percent. The number of employed resident dropped by 889 to 229,332.

Ames, Iowa, held on to the title of the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at just 2.3 percent in January.

The number of employed workers also decreased in January from 22,109 to 4,627,724, with unemployment increased to 30,930 to 269,270.

The rate rose as the labor force grew and the number of new layoffs increased. Over the year, the number of people in the labor force increased by 575, as the number of employed grew by 548 and the number of unemployed increased by 27.

The annual number of quits increased to 36.1 million in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 33.7 million in 2015. Dalton had the highest unemployment rate at the start of 2017 of any of Georgia's 14 metropolitan areas and the January rate for metro Dalton was 2 percentage points above the comparable US rate for the same month. In January, 513 new job openings in Dalton were posted on Employ Georgia.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally-adjusted, the department said.

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