The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia area decreased to 10.2 percent in October, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 10.4 percent in September. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area decreased to 40,546, down 151 from 41,697. The jobless rate in the Northwest Georgia area in October 2009 was 11.1 percent.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.9 percent from September to October. The preliminary September rate of 10 percent reported last month has been revised downward by one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate was 10.2 percent in October 2009. This is the 37th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.6 percent.

Although the state’s jobless rate was unchanged, the number of payroll jobs increased 22,300, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,815,400 in September to 3,837,700 in October. Most of the increases came in retail trade, temporary employment agencies, public and private schools, and health care. However, the number of jobs remains 7,200, or two-tenths of a percentage point, less than in October 2009, when there were 3,844,900 payroll jobs.

Also, 57,494 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in October, an increase of 348, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 57,146 in September. However, there was an over-the-year decrease of 13,103 initial claims, or 18.6 percent, from 70,597 filed in October 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, administrative and support services, and construction.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us