ATLANTA — Cobb County’s unemployment rate continues to inch down and seasonal hiring in November absorbed more people into the ranks of the employed, spreading a little holiday cheer.
The county’s job market continues to outperform both the state and metro Atlanta, with unemployment falling to 6.3 percent in November, down from 7.0 in October and 7.4 percent in November a year ago, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
The rate dropping below 7 percent is significant. It hasn’t done so since April 2013, when it stood at 6.8 percent.
But unemployment started ticking back up after the April low, hitting a high of 8 percent just two months later in June.
Unemployment in Georgia also is in a downward trend but remains substantially higher than in Cobb County.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, down from 8.1 percent in October. The statewide rate was 8.7 percent in November a year ago.
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate decreased to 7.0 percent in November, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 7.7 percent in October. This is the lowest the rate has been since it was 6.9 percent in October 2008. The rate was 8.1 percent in November a year ago.
The rate declined in November because the number of jobs increased and the number of unemployment insurance claims were down. Retailers typically hire extra workers for the busy Christmas season, driving the unemployment rate temporarily downward. But the fact that Cobb’s unemployment rate is almost a full percentage point lower than it was in November of last year, is the best indicator that the county’s labor market is improving.
Metro Atlanta employers added 14,300 jobs in November, increasing the number of jobs to 2,447,600, up by 0.6 percent from 2,433,300 in October. Most of the new jobs were added in retail trade, transportation and warehousing, 8,600; government, 2,000; leisure and hospitality, 1,800; education and health care, 1,200; and information services and construction, 800 each.
Over the year, jobs were up by 59,200, or 2.5 percent, from 2,388,400 in November 2012. The big job gainers were in professional and business services, 15,100; leisure and hospitality, 12,000; education and health services, 11,500; and construction, 10,500; and retail trade, transportation and warehousing, 8,700.
The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, decreased to 16,222 in November, down by 3,198, or 16.5 percent, from 19,420 in October. Claims declined in several sectors, including professional and technical services, 563; administrative and support services, 419; health care and social assistance, 354; manufacturing, 342; and retail trade, 309.
The number of unemployed people in metro Atlanta decreased to 190,266, down by 18,611 from 208,877 in October. There ere 223,686 unemployed in November 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10 percent.