Jobless rate climbed again in June

LAWRENCEVILLE - New data released Thursday by the state's labor department indicates Gwinnett's unemployment rate climbed again during June, reaching 9.6 percent.

That's about the national average of 9.5 percent and more than a percentage point lower than the entire metro area's rate of 10.7 percent.

The state's unemployment rate of 10.1 percent, released last week, was higher than the national average for a 20th consecutive month.

The unfortunate news in Thursday's release is Gwinnett's unemployment climbed to 9.6 percent from a May rate of 8.8 percent. That translated to 4,438 Gwinnettians filing initial unemployment claims in June - 46 more than were filed in May and a 110 percent increase in the past year.

Gwinnett's neighbors to the east fared worse.

In Jackson County, unemployment climbed one percentage point from May coming in at 11.2 percent.

In Barrow County, unemployment rose to 11.3 percent from a May rate of 10.6 percent.

In Walton County, the rate rose more than a percentage point from its May rate coming in at 10.8 percent for June.

In Rockdale County, the rate climbed from 10.3 percent in May to 11.6 percent in June.

As for the major metropolitan counties, DeKalb County saw its rate spike to 10.6 percent from a May 9.3 percent rate, and Fulton County rose all the way to 11 percent from a 9.7 percent rate in May.

Only Forsyth County saw its rate stay below the national average, although it did rise from May to come in at 8.9 percent.

One other note, the city of Lawrenceville's unemployment rate stood at 14.2 percent in June, up from 13.4 percent in May.

Of the more than 25 Georgia cities the labor department provided data for, only LaGrange's unemployment rate of 16 percent was higher than Lawrenceville.

According to the labor department, 483,394 unemployed Georgians were looking for work in June, an increase of 65 percent from June 2008.

The department also announced that the number of payroll jobs in June decreased by 209,500, or 5.1 percent from June 2008. Those over-the-year losses came in professional and business services and in the construction industry.

About the only positive note came in the fields of health care and educational services, which showed a combined increase of 12,000 jobs.