At 6.3 percent, the state unemployment rate in August was the highest in 15 years, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Wednesday.

That’s an increase of nearly 2 percent from last year’s August rate of 4.4 percent. During that time, the state lost 37,700 payroll jobs.

The last time Georgia’s unemployment rate reached this level was in March of 1993, and there has not been an over-the-year decline in jobs this great since June of 2003. The state rate remains above the national rate of 6.1 percent for the seventh straight month.

The August unemployment rate is up from a revised 6 percent in July.

The number of jobs increased by 8,100 between July and August, mostly because of school employees returning to existing jobs following the summer break, the DOL said.

Walker County Messenger