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State’s unemployment rate cracks double digits

POSTED: July 16, 2009 4:29 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 percent in June, the highest rate ever recorded in Georgia. The jobless rate was up five-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.6 percent in May.

“Georgia is in the midst of a deepening economic crisis,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

Last month, 483,394 unemployed Georgians were looking for work, an increase of 65 percent from June of 2008. Of that number, 160,249, or 33 percent, are receiving state unemployment insurance benefits, while approximately 93,000 are receiving federal extended benefits.

Thurmond added, “Georgia leaders should develop a bi-partisan recovery plan 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 investments that promote job creation and future prosperity.”

The June jobless rate was up 4.0 percentage points from 6.1 percent at this same time last year. Georgia’s unemployment rate remained above the national rate of 9.5 percent for the 20th consecutive month.

The number of payroll jobs in June decreased 209,500, or 5.1 percent, from June 2008. The over-the-year losses came in professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies, manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, and in the construction industry.

On a positive note, health care and educational services, showed a combined increase of 12,000 jobs.

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