ATLANTA -- The unemployment rate in Metro Atlanta rose to 9.7 percent in May 2011, according to Georgia labor commissioner Mark Butler.
This is up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.6 percent in April.
Butler said the rate rose for two reasons. More than 21,000 new job seekers entered the labor force, but only about 15,000 of them found jobs. Also, Atlanta had a net loss of 900 jobs; an increase of 1,100 jobs in manufacturing and construction was offset by a loss of 2,000 service-related jobs.
The lowest area unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent, was recorded in Metro Athens, while the highest was in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region in the Dublin area, at 12 percent.
Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 8.3 percent.
May marked the 46th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, up from 9 percent in April.