ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.0 percent in October, the highest rate in more than 16 years. The jobless rate was up 2.5 percentage points from 4.5 percent at this same time last year. The October unemployment rate was up six-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.4 percent in September.

“Georgia’s economy is being slammed by a deteriorating job market,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “In each of the last three months, the state has experienced increasing job losses and 70-plus percent over-the-year increases in the number of workers filing initial unemployment insurance claims.”

Thurmond encourages jobseekers to take advantage of the employment services offered by the Georgia Department of Labor by accessing its website The online services include easily accessible listings of current job openings, as well as information about job search, career planning, and education and training opportunities. A complete listing of all 53 career centers is provided.

The last time Georgia posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at this level was in April of 1992 when the rate was also 7.0 percent. The state rate remained above the national rate of 6.5 percent for the ninth straight month. At present, 343,093 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.

Over the last year, the number of payroll jobs decreased 61,300 or 1.5 percent. This is the largest October-to-October decline in jobs ever recorded. The over-the-year job losses came across-the-board in all major sectors. But manufacturing, construction, retail trade, and private employment agencies were especially hard hit.