According to the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL), Metro Athens had the lowest December jobless rate of metro areas in the state.
The unemployment rate locally was 5.2 percent, up from 5.0 in November, but dramatically less than December 2012 (6.4 percent).
The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest rate at 10.2 percent.
The Athens-area rate rose primarily because of new layoffs, which increased to 1,187, up 189.5 percent from 410 in November.
The number of jobs declined by 300 to 90,700 in December, but the region saw an overall rise of 1.9 percent in jobs since December 2012.Metro Atlanta saw its unemployment rate decrease to 6.8 percent in December, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.0 percent in November.
The rate hasn't been this low since it was at 6.4 percent in September 2008. The rate was 8.4 percent in December a year ago.
Last week, GDOL said the state's unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent. Still, both Georgia and metro Atlanta trail the national rate, currently 6.7 percent.Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November. The rate was 8.7 percent in December a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.