ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia area rose to 11.0 percent in December, up one-tenth of one percentage point from a revised 10.9 percent in November. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area increased by 485, from 44,459 in November to 44,944 in December.

In December 2008, there were 37,472 jobless workers in the Northwest Georgia area, when the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent.

Statewide, the number of payroll jobs in December 2009 was 3,859,800, a decrease of 175,000, or 4.3 percent, from 4,034,800 in December of 2008. 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.

Meanwhile, 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. The 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 25 of the last 26 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 local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at