Employers in metro Atlanta laid off more workers in January, including many hired for the Christmas holiday season, driving up the area’s unemployment rate to 8.7 percent, from 8.4 percent in December, the labor department said Thursday.
The number of jobs in metro Atlanta declined by 29,100, or 1.2 percent, from December to January, the labor department said.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits jumped by 9,751, or 44.5 percent, from December to January, primarily because of seasonal layoffs. Most of the claims were filed in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services.
But the number of initial claims for benefits is down slightly from January 2012, when the jobless rate was 9.4 percent. Metro Atlanta started the year with 63,400 more jobs — a 2.8 percent increase — than it had in January 2012.
Over the past year, employment increased in professional and business