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State unemployment rate dips to 10.2 percent

POSTED: November 17, 2011 6:21 p.m.

ATLANTA—Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in October, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 10.3 percent in September, as well as from October a year ago.

The rate dropped because Georgia added 26,500 jobs, up seven-tenths of a percentage point to 3,818,800 from 3,792,300 in September. While growth came in several sectors, 12,200 of the jobs occurred from early hiring in retail, transportation and warehousing, as employers prepared for the holiday season.

“Historically, we don’t usually see a spike in retail hiring in the month of October,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “However, even though this is a good sign, we will be cautiously watching the hiring trends from now until the end of the year.”

Job growth also occurred in professional and business services, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality. However, the number of jobs in Georgia remained 32,600, or nine-tenths of a percentage point below October of last year.

Also, the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits rose to 55,865, up 4,598, or 9.0 percent, from 51,267 in September. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

There was an over-the-year decrease of 1,629 initial claims, or 2.8 percent, from 57,494 filed in October of last year.

The number of long-term unemployed workers increased 2,400 to 259,300 from September to October. That represents a 7.8 percent increase from October of last year. The long-term unemployed account for 53.6 percent of Georgia’s 483,605 jobless workers.

October is the 51st consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.0 percent.   

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