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Georgia’s jobless rate climbs to 6.2 percent

POSTED: September 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent in July, up six-tenths of one percent from 5.6 percent in June. The July rate was the highest recorded since March of 1993.

The current adjusted state rate, which is five-tenths of one percent higher than the U.S. seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.7 percent, continued to top the national rate for the sixth straight month. At present, 304,536 unemployed Georgians are now looking for work.

At the same time, initial unemployment insurance claims, which are considered to be a leading economic indicator, rose by 30 percent in Georgia in July to 59,165.

“From Blue Ridge to Atlanta, from Macon to Valdosta, thousands of unemployed Georgians are pouring into our career centers,” said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “The Georgia Department of Labor is committed to doing everything possible to assist them during these difficult economic times. We ask for their patience and cooperation as we work together to overcome these unprecedented challenges.”

Preliminary unadjusted data show Georgia lost 46,600 payroll jobs from June to July, a decrease of 1.1 percent. The job losses came across-the-board in manufacturing, construction, trade and services. The metro areas of the state and their job changes include:

• Albany, down 600, or nine-tenths of one percent, from 64,400 to 63,800.
• Athens, down 200, or two-tenths of one percent, from 83,700 to 83,500.
• Atlanta, down 27,500, or 1.1 percent, from 2,467,900 to 2,440,400.
• Augusta, down 3,800, or 1.7 percent, from 218,800 to 215,000.
• Columbus, down 1,500, or 1.2 percent, from 121,700 to 120,200.
• Dalton, down 1,200, or 1.5 percent, from 78,000 to 76,800.
• Gainesville, down 100, or one-tenth of one percent, from 77,500 to 77,400.
• Macon, down 1,000, or 1.0 percent, from 100,400 to 99,400.
• Savannah, down 2,100, or 1.3 percent, from 162,600 to 160,500.
• Valdosta, down 800, or 1.4 percent, from 56,400 to 55,600.  
• Warner Robins, down 1,000, or 1.7 percent, from 59,300 to 58,300.

Local initial claims and other Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.

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