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State jobless rate hits 15-year high in August

POSTED: October 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in August, the highest in 15 years. The jobless rate was up 1.9 percentage points from 4.4 percent at this same time last year. During the same period, the number of payroll jobs decreased 37,700 or nine-tenths of one percentage point.

The last time Georgia’s unemployment rate reached this level was in March 1993, and there has not been an over-the-year decline in jobs this great since June 2003. The state rate remains above the national rate of 6.1 percent for the seventh straight month.

At present, 310,683 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.

“We’re in the midst of a very challenging job market,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, “and finding a job is difficult, but not impossible. I encourage all job seekers to keep the faith and continue their job search efforts. I urge them to utilize the services of the Georgia Department of Labor by visiting our Web site or one of our 53 career centers throughout the state.”

The GDOL Web site is www.dol.state.ga.us and lists addresses of all career centers.

The August unemployment rate was up three-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.0 percent in July. The number of jobs increased 8,100 from July to August, up because of seasonal fluctuations due to school employees returning to existing jobs following the summer break.

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