ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in August, virtually unchanged from a revised 10.3 percent in July. The August jobless rate was up 3.8 percentage points from 6.4 percent at this same time last year. Georgia’s unemployment rate remained above the national rate of 9.7 percent for the 22nd consecutive month.
“Tens of thousands of jobless Georgians are facing an increasingly difficult job market,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “The slight decline in the August unemployment rate appears to be a bit of positive news, however, a closer examination reveals that the reduction was primarily due to work force shrinkage.”
A comparison of the state’s job market at the beginning of the recession in December 2007 and now details the extent of the economic deterioration. Georgia’s labor force has shrunk by 79,039, from 4,823,467 to 4,744,428; the number of unemployed workers has nearly doubled from 244,962 to 481,588, and the number of jobs has declined by 314,100 from 4,181,100 to 3,867,000.
The number of payroll jobs in August decreased 238,200, or 5.8 percent, from August of 2008. The over-the-year losses came in trade, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies, and construction. On a positive note, healthcare and private educational services showed a combined increase of 13,400 jobs.
Commissioner Thurmond stressed that additional efforts must be focused on stimulating private sector job creation, particularly through Georgia’s small and medium-sized businesses. The GDOL is preparing to expand Georgia Works (GW$), an initiative that significantly reduces employer costs associated with recruiting, training and hiring new employees.
For more information regarding the GW$ hiring strategy, visit www.dol.state.ga.us or email inquiries to email@example.com. GW$ telephone operators are available at 1-877-WORKS09 (1-877-967-5709.