ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.4 percent in April, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.5 percent in March. The April jobless rate was up 1.2 percentage points from 9.2 percent at this same time last year. This is the 31st consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national rate, which is now 9.9 percent.

Georgia’s job market showed a modest improvement for the third consecutive month. The number of payroll jobs in April increased 26,900, or seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,794,700 in March to 3,821,600. However, the number of jobs remains less than in April 2009, when there were 3,912,700 payroll jobs, 2.3 percent or 91,100 more than this year.

In April, there were 215,100 long-term unemployed Georgians (those who have been out of work 27 weeks or longer). This represents an increase of 10,400, or 5.1 percent from 204,700 long-term unemployed in March, and 129,600, or 151.6 percent from 85,500 in April 2009. The long-term unemployed now account for 43.1 percent of the 489,010 jobless workers in Georgia.

“Although our job market is slowly improving, the continuing increase in the number of long-term unemployed Georgians is troubling,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “The specter of structural unemployment is beginning to cast a long shadow across the American workplace.”

Also in April, 60,661 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, a decline of 8,604, or 12.4 percent from 69,265 in March. There was also a decline of 23,685 initial claims, or 28.1 percent, from 84,346 filed in April 2009. Most of the first time claims were filed in trade, manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services.