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Glynn jobless rate increases
After falling four months in a row, Brunswick's unemployment rate jumped from November to December, but some say the economy is still improving overall.

The unemployment rate in metro Brunswick, which includes Glynn, McIntosh and Brantley counties, rose to 9.8 percent in December from 9.2 percent in November.

That rate is down from December 2011, when it was 10.4 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

While Brunswick's rate increased six-tenths of a percentage point, the state average only jumped by one-tenth of a percentage point.

The state unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in December from 8.5 percent in November. It was 9.4 percent in December 2011.

"The over the month jump in the rate comes as the number of employed (metro Brunswick) residents decreased by 216, from 46,313 to 46,097, and the number of unemployed residents grew by 309, from 4,680 to 4,989," said Corey Smith, a labor market analyst with the Georgia Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate in Brunswick has increased from November to December in five of the last six years, Smith said.

Along with a rise in the unemployment rate, claims for jobless benefits are up from 589 claims in November to 676 in December.

But the size of the labor market has increased, and Nathan Sparks, executive director of the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, thinks that's a sign of a growing economy.

"While month to month we have increased, the trends are still positive, and we hope those trends continue," Sparks said.

Smith agrees that despite the drop from November to December, things are looking up. "Over the year, the economy of the area has improved," Smith said.

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