Despite a slightly improved national unemployment picture in January, Southwest Georgia continued to       see the ranks of jobless grow.

The unemployment rate in the region increased by 0.2 percentage points, from 10.3 percent in December to 10.5 percent in January, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. The jobless rate in Southwest Georgia was 11.2 percent in January 2010.

The increase was due to layoffs in manufacturing, construction, retail trade, and administrative and support services, the agency said.

The January unemployment rate in Colquitt County was 10.2 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from 9.9 the previous month, but down from 10.6 percent in January 2010.

Brooks County saw a jump from 8.9 percent in December to 9.7 percent in January, Cook County had an increase from 13 percent to 13.2 percent, Mitchell County increased from 10.1 percent to 10.3 percent, Thomas County from 9.1 percent to 9.3 percent, Tift County from 12.1 percent to 12.6 percent, and Worth County from 10.1 percent to 11.5 percent.

Unemployment rates increased in all areas of the state in January except metro Warner Robins, where the rate was unchanged. Of the 25 local areas, metro Warner Robins was the lowest at 7.8 percent, while Dalton was highest in Dalton at 13 percent, the Labor Department reported.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 10.4 percent, matching the state’s all-time high in January 2010.

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