Stephens Co. Unemployment Rate Rises in May

Stephens County sees its preliminary unemployment rate jump in May.

According to figures released last week by the Georgia Department of Labor, Stephens County had a preliminary May unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.

That marks a jump of nine-tenths of a percentage point over the revised April rate of 6 percent.

However, the May 2014 preliminary rate is still nine-tenths of a percentage point lower than the May 2013 rate of 7.8 percent.

May’s labor force in Stephens County was 13,073.

That is up from the April labor force of 12,912, but below the May 2013 labor force of 13,221.

Of the 13,073 in the May labor force in Stephens County, 12,165 were employed.

That is an increase in the number of employed from April, when the county listed 12,138 as employed, but slightly below last May, when 12,188 were employed.

Looking at other area counties, Habersham County saw its preliminary May unemployment rate jump eight-tenths of a percentage point to 7 percent; while Franklin County also saw an eight-tenth of a percentage point jump in its May preliminary unemployment rate to 8.2 percent; and Banks County saw its preliminary May unemployment rate jump seven-tenths of a percentage point to 6 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said a seasonal unemployment rate increase is typical in may because new jobseekers are entering the labor force, like college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs.

Butler said the last unemployment rate decrease in May in Georgia happened in 1999.