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Metro jobless rate plummets

POSTED: September 25, 2009 11:38 a.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Savannah area declined to 8.5 percent in August, down 1.4 percentage point from a revised 9.9 percent in July. The reduction in the rate is primarily due to work force shrinkage.

In Savannah, the number of unemployed workers decreased in August to 15,019, down 2,890 from 17,909 in July. There were 11,071 jobless workers in Savannah in August 2008, when the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent. The number of payroll jobs in metro Savannah was 153,500, a loss of 5,500, or 3.5 percent, from 159,000 in August 2008.

Statewide, the number of payroll jobs in August decreased 238,200, or 5.8 percent, from August 2008. The over-the-year losses came in trade, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies, and construction. Health care and private educational services showed a combined increase of 13,400 jobs.  

Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in August, virtually unchanged from a revised 10.3 percent in July. The rate remained above the national rate of 9.7 percent for the 22nd consecutive month.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond stressed that additional efforts must be focused on stimulating private sector job creation, particularly through Georgia’s small and medium-sized businesses. The GDOL expanding Georgia Work$ (GW$), an initiative that significantly reduces employer costs associated with recruiting, training and hiring new employees.

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