ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the unemployment rate in the Coosa Valley area rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 9.6 percent in January, up 4.4 percentage points over the year from January of 2008. The jobless rate in the Coosa Valley area rose 1.2 percentage points from a revised 8.4 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a record-high preliminary 8.6 percent in January. This is the highest seasonally adjusted rate recorded in Georgia since 1976, when the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began standardizing unemployment rates among all states.

The previous record high was 8.3 percent, recorded in January of 1983. At present, 412,770 unemployed Georgians are looking for work, an increase of 62.9 percent over the year. Of that number, 183,829, or 44.5 percent, are receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

The jobless rate is up 3.4 percentage points from 5.2 percent at this same time last year. The January unemployment rate was up 1.1 percentage points from a revised 7.5 percent in December. Georgia’s unemployment rate remained above the national rate of 7.6 percent for the 15th consecutive month.

The local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at