Stephens County ends 2013 on a mixed note on the unemployment front.
According to figures released last week by the Georgia Department of Labor, Stephens County had a preliminary unemployment rate in December of 7.1 percent.
That is slightly higher than the revised November unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.
The labor force in Stephens County increased only slightly in December, remaining just over 12,750. Meanwhile, the number of employed dropped by a handful, remaining just over 11,860.
The number of unemployed in Stephens County in December went up to 903, from 878 in November.
However, the preliminary December unemployment rate is lower than the revised rate for December 2012 of 9.1 percent.
The labor force this past December was a couple hundred people smaller than the December 2012 labor force, which was just over 13,000, while the number of employed stayed about the same while the number of unemployed dropped from nearly 1,200 to the 903 figure this December.
Looking at other area counties, Franklin County saw its preliminary unemployment rate drop one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.3 percent in December; Habersham County saw its preliminary December unemployment rate go up one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.6 percent; and Banks County also saw a one-tenth of a percentage point increase in its preliminary December unemployment rate to 5.5 percent.