ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.3 percent in December, matching the record high reported last July. The jobless rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 10.1 percent in November. Previously, the November rate had been reported at 10.2 percent, but was revised downward slightly.

The December jobless rate was up 2.8 percentage points from 7.5 percent at this same time last year. The national adjusted unemployment rate is 10.0 percent. For 24 of the last 25 months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate. And, since the recession began in December 2007, Georgia’s workforce has shrunk by 121,257 or 2.5 percent, from 4,823,467 to 4,702,210.

The number of payroll jobs in December decreased 175,000, or 4.3 percent, from December of 2008. The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period are Dalton, down 6.0 percent; Valdosta, down 5.8 percent and Macon, down 5.5 percent. The metropolitan areas with the smallest percentage of job losses are Rome, down 0.8 percent, Warner Robins, down 1.6 percent; and Albany, down 1.9 percent. Only Hinesville showed an increase in jobs, up 100, or 0.5 percent. Statewide, the over-the-year losses came in trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services. On a positive note, educational and health services added 11,200 jobs over the year.