Wednesday, March 3, 2010

State unemployment at record high in January

Georgia's unemployment rate continued to rise in January to a record high level, the state's labor commissioner announced Wednesday.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 10.4 percent, topping the previous record high of 10.3 percent a month earlier.

The January jobless rate was up 2 percentage points from 8.4 percent a year ago.

"Georgia's unemployment crisis is deepening," Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement released early Wednesday.

"I'm concerned that thousands of pending government layoffs will further cripple Georgia's struggling private job market," Thurmond said. "Our elected leadership must come together to develop a bipartisan plan that will balance the state budget and jump start private-sector hiring."

The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period were Dalton, at 4.3 percent, and Valdosta, with a 4.2 percent loss. Areas with the smallest percentage of job losses were Warner Robins, which stayed even, and Augusta, which was down 0.4 percent.

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