Monday, August 31, 2009

Coffee County has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the state.

Study Shows State’s Men Hit Harder By Recession Than Women

Coffee County’s unemployment rate increased from 12.8% in May to 16.5% in June. Coffee now ranks fifth in unemployment rate in the state behind Jenkins County (20.7%), Hancock County (19.5%), Warren County (18.6%) and Spalding County (16.6%).

However, Coffee’s labor force and number employed increased also in June. The labor force went up from 16,855 in May to 18,032 in June. The number employed in Coffee County in May was 14,691 and increased to 15,053 in June.

The number unemployed in May in Coffee County was 2,164 and increased to 2,979 in June, no doubt affected by the closing of Pilgrim’s Pride.The state of Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also rose from 9.6% in May to 10.0% in June, the highest rate ever recorded in Georgia, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Labor.

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

Recently Commissioner Thurmond said that a Georgia Department of Labor study of the impact of the recession in Georgia reveals that working men have been hit harder by the economic downturn than working women.

Thurmond refers to the present recession as a “he-cession” or “man-cession” in a white paper entitled “Georgia Men Hit Hardest by Recession, December 2007-May 2009.”

“Our research reveals that Georgia now has historically high levels of unemployment among male workers,” said Thurmond. “Men tend to dominate employment in construction and manufacturing, two of the industries that have been hardest hit by layoffs in our state.”

According to a press release from the Department of Labor, the number of Georgia’s men drawing unemployment insurance benefits between December of 2007 and May of 2009 rose 160%, from 34,136 to 88,612.

Throughout the nation, almost 80 percent of the more than 6.5 million Americans who have lost jobs since the beginning of the recession have been men.

“Immediate steps must be taken to encourage unemployed men to pursue careers in non-traditional female-dominated sectors, such as nursing and allied health,” said Thurmond. “I encourage federal, state and local policy makers to recognize that the socio-economic pathologies associated with high levels of male unemployment will have broad policy implications for Georgia’s 21st century workforce.”

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