State labor officials say metro Atlanta's unemployment rate has risen to 8.9 percent. The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new numbers early Thursday. The 8.9 percent jobless rate for June was up seventh-tenths of a percent point, from 8.2 percent in May. That was still under the 9.3 percent rate in June a year ago.
The Dalton area had the highest unemployment rate among Georgia's metro areas last month at 12.1 percent. The Athens and Warner Robins areas had the lowest rates at 7.3 percent. In metro Atlanta, the rate increased to 9.4 percent.
Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.