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State unemployment jumps to 10.3 percent

POSTED: October 24, 2011 6:37 p.m.

ATLANTA—Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.3 percent in September, its highest level since January.

The September rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point from 10.2 percent in August. The state’s jobless rate was also 10.2 percent in September a year ago.

The rate increased due to Georgia losing jobs in September and many new job seekers continuously being unable to find work. The number of jobs in Georgia decreased 15,100, or four-tenths of a percentage point, from August to 3,793,200. Most of the loss was among seasonal workers in leisure and hospitality.

Although the rate increased, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler expressed that there are some positive economic signs in this month’s report.

“One positive is fewer layoffs, which results in a smaller quantity of initial unemployment claims,” he said.

While there were 3,200 new jobs in professional and business services, 400 in manufacturing, as well as seasonal gains in state and local public schools, there weren’t enough to offset the overall losses.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in September decreased to 51,267, down 5,209, or 9.2 percent, from 56,476 in August. Most of the first-time claims were filed in trade, manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

There was an over-the-year decrease of 5,879 initial claims, or 10.3 percent, from 57,146 filed in September of last year.

The number of long-term unemployed workers increased 2,800 to 256,900, or 8.6 percent higher than in September of last year. The long-term unemployed account for 52.7 percent of Georgia’s 487,471 jobless workers. September is the 50th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent.   

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