Georgia labor officials say the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has risen slightly to 8.6 percent.
The December figure is up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in November. The rate was 9.4 percent in December a year ago.
The state Labor Department released the new numbers Thursday morning. Commissioner Mark Butler said a combination of factors led to the increase.
“We did experience a very modest job loss over the month of about 400 jobs. We did see our workforce increase at the same time,” Butler said. “However, a lot of these are going to be attributed to the fact of a lot of government layoffs during the month of December.”
Butler said those were primarily by seasonal layoffs in education.
Despite the increase, Butler said it was the best November-to-December job market report since 2007.
The labor department also touted a 20 percent drop in initial unemployment claims compared to last year.
Butler also said the state’s manufacturing industry has rebounded better than most analysts expected, adding 12,000 jobs during the last 12 months.