The unemployment rate for metro Augusta increased in May, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday morning by the Georgia Department of Labor. Augusta’s rate was 6.6 percent, up from 6.1 percent in April. The number is still well below the May 2014 rate of 7.3 percent.
Officials attributed the dip to the loss of seasonal jobs associated with the Masters Tournament in April. They said education, health services and state and local government also lost employees. The overall growth in jobs over the past year occurred mostly in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, trade, transportation and warehousing, professional and business services and manufacturing.
Metro Gainesville had the state’s lowest unemployment rate for May at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region reported the highest at 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the Georgia side of the Central Savannah River Area as a whole also reported a rise in unemployment in May, at 6.9 percent. The April rate was 6.3 percent. Both fall below the May 2014 rate of 8.2 percent.