ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent in May, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in April.
The rate was 9.5 percent in May 2011.
Clarke County's unemployment rate in May 2012 was 6.8 percent.
The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new figures early Thursday.
They say the rate increased because the labor force grew by 16,578 job seekers, and while most found jobs within the month, 6,008 did not.
Officials also say there were 269 new layoffs in profession and technical services, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services.