ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 10.2 percent in October, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.1 percent in September.
The October jobless rate was up 3.3 percentage points from 6.9 percent at this same time last year. Georgia’s unemployment rate matched the national rate of 10.2 percent for the first time in two years. Since October of 2007, when a jobless rate of 4.8 percent was recorded by both the state and the nation, Georgia’s rate has exceeded the national rate.
“The recession will not end for the thousands of jobless Georgians until more employers start hiring again,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “Georgia’s public and private leaders must work together to develop a bi-partisan recovery strategy that focuses on three critical elements: protecting vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly, and the sick; preserving our health, safety and educational institutions; and encouraging economic development and job creation.”
The number of payroll jobs in October decreased 227,700 or 5.6 percent, from October of 2008. The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period are Dalton, down 8.1 percent; Atlanta, down 5.7 percent; and Macon, down 5.2 percent. The metropolitan areas with the smallest percentage of job losses are Athens, down 1.2 percent; Hinesville, down 1.5 percent; Brunswick, down 1.6 percent, and Columbus, down 1.8 percent. The over-the-year losses came in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, professional and business services, and construction. On a positive note, educational and health services added 13,200 jobs over the year. Also, from September to October, a total of 5,200 jobs were added in retail trade, public and private education, and health care.
The state’s labor force decreased 139,015, or 2.9 percent, from 4,859,703 in October 2008 to 4,720,688 in October 2009. The number of jobless workers receiving regular state unemployment benefits increased 32,282 or 32.8 percent, from 98,530 in October 2008 to 130,812 in October 2009. Another 146,000 received federal Extended Unemployment Compensation.