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Posted: March 14, 2013 9:50 a.m.

Metro Atlanta jobless rate rises to 8.7 percent

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ATLANTA (AP) — State labor officials say metro Atlanta's jobless rate rose to 8.7 percent in January, up from 8.4 percent the month before.

That compares to 9.4 percent in January 2012.

The Georgia Department of Labor released the new numbers early Thursday.

State officials said the rate in January rose because of two main factors -- a loss of seasonal jobs and an increase in new layoffs.

Elsewhere in Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent.

Metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region tied for the highest rate at 11.9 percent.

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