MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The unemployment rate in Macon and Middle Georgia is rising.
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, metro Macon's unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in December, up five-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7% in November. The rate was 9.5% in December 2011.
Unemployment rose because of several factors, including a slight increase in new layoffs represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a loss of jobs, and a reduction in the labor force.
In the Middle Georgia region, the unemployment rate rose to 9.0% in December, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.6% in November. The rate was 9.2% in December 2011.
Melvin Everson, the commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Governor Nathan Deal's administration, says even though the unemployment rate is slightly higher, Middle Georgia's job outlook is looking good. He credits this to the new Tractor Supply distribution center opening in Bibb County.
"We had a little bump...[an] increase in the unemployment rate, but I'm very optimistic as we move further into 2013 and 2014 things are going to get much better in the state of Georgia," Everson said.