The county’s unemployment rate shot up from 7.5 percent in May to 8.0 percent in June, the highest in more than six months, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
But the 8.0 percent jobless rate is still lower than when it stood at 8.6 percent in June 2012.
And it’s that year-ago comparison that should be given the most credibility, said Sam Hall, communications director for the Georgia Department of Labor.
“You get a more accurate reading on the job market if you look to the previous year for your comparison,” Hall said.
That’s because in June, high school and college students enter the work force to look for seasonal jobs.
“You’ve also got college graduates coming into the labor force,” he said, which also adds to the work force and drives up the jobless rate because new graduates are considered unemployed until they find their first jobs.
Still, there is no denying that the job market has stagnated since last fall with an unemployment rate remaining in the 7 to 8 percent range.
“It’s like that in most counties in Georgia right now,” Hall said. “Everybody’s in the same boat.”
Cobb is still faring a little better than the state as a whole and even the metro Atlanta area.
Georgia’s unemployment rate for June was 8.6 percent, up from 8.3 percent in May. The rate was 9.1 percent in June a year ago.
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate increased to 8.9 percent in June, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2 percent in May. The rate was 9.3 percent in June a year ago.
Although the jobless rate increased, the number of jobs in metro Atlanta grew for the fifth consecutive month, up by 4,300 or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 2,408,500 in May to 2,412,800. While the private sector actually added 7,800 jobs, the overall gain was reduced by a loss of 3,500 jobs in government.
Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, 4,400; leisure and hospitality, 2,600; financial services, 2,200; information services, 1,000; manufacturing, 600; and construction, 500.
Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 56,300, or 2.4 percent, from 2,356,500 in June 2012. The job gains came in professional and business services, 20,200; trade and transportation, 10,800; health care and social assistance, 10,400; leisure and hospitality, 8,300; information services, 4,800; construction, 4,200; and financial services, 3,300.
The metro Atlanta labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose to 2,766,961 in June, up by 4,061 from 2,762,900 in May. It was up by 26,785 from 2,740,176 in June 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 7.2 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 12.9 percent.