ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor reported yesterday that the unemployment rate in the Coosa Valley area rose to a preliminary 6.5 percent in July, up four-tenths of one percent from a revised 6.1 percent in June.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said, “We are experiencing a rising tide of unemployment not seen in Georgia in more than fifteen years. The surge of jobless workers into our career centers is challenging our ability to keep pace with the demand for assistance at a time when it is most needed. We ask our customers for their patience and cooperation as we work together to meet and overcome these economic challenges.”

Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent in July, up six-tenths of one percent from 5.6 percent in June. The July rate was the highest recorded since March of 1993.

The current adjusted state rate, which is five-tenths of one percent higher than the U.S. seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.7 percent, continued to top the national rate for the sixth straight month. At present, 304,536 unemployed Georgians are now looking for work.

At the same time, initial unemployment insurance claims, which are considered to be a leading economic indicator, rose by 30 percent in Georgia in July to 59,165.

Preliminary unadjusted data show Georgia lost 46,600 payroll jobs from June to July, a decrease of 1.1 percent. The job losses came across-the-board in manufacturing, construction, trade, and services.

The local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.