Thursday, September 17, 2009

Georgia unemployment at 10.2% in August

Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 point to 10.2 percent from July to August, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The August jobless rate was up 3.8 percentage points from 6.4 percent in August 2008. Georgia’s unemployment rate also stayed above the national rate of 9.7 percent for the 22nd consecutive month.

“Tens of thousands of jobless Georgians are facing an increasingly difficult job market,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “The slight decline in the August unemployment rate appears to be a bit of positive news, however, a closer examination reveals that the reduction was primarily due to work force shrinkage.”

A comparison of the state’s job market at the beginning of the recession in December 2007 details the extent of the economic deterioration. Georgia’s labor force has shrunk by 79,039, from 4,823,467 to 4,744,428; the number of unemployed workers has nearly doubled from 244,962 to 481,588, and the number of jobs has declined by 314,100 from 4,181,100 to 3,867,000.

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. On a positive note, health care and private educational services showed a combined increase of 13,400 jobs.

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