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State jobless rates worsen

POSTED: August 27, 2010 12:47 p.m.
ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported this week that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined slightly to 9.9 percent in July, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10 percent in June. This is the 34th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is 9.5 percent.
“Georgia’s job market continued to deteriorate for the second consecutive month,” State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said. “Although the unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged, a growing number of discouraged workers dropped out of the workforce. For the second consecutive month, the number of jobs in our state declined, new layoffs increased, and long-term unemployment continued to rise.”
 The slight dip in the unemployment rate was primarily the result of the state’s labor force shrinking by 21,043 from June to July, as long-term unemployed workers became discouraged and gave up their job search. Coupled with the increase of 19,026 discouraged workers in June, Georgia’s labor force has deteriorated by more than 40,000 during the past two months. This is the first time since 2001 that Georgia has experienced significant reductions in the labor force for two consecutive months.
The number of payroll jobs in July decreased 21,600, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,827,200 in June to 3,805,600. And, the number of jobs remains less than in July 2009, when there were 3,836,000 payroll jobs, eight-tenths of a percentage point, or 30,400 more than this year.
There were 230,100 long-term unemployed Georgians in July (those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer). This represents an increase of 108,900, or 89.9 percent from 121,200 long-term unemployed in July 2009 and an increase of 100 from June. The long-term unemployed now account for 49.8 percent of the 462,372 jobless workers in Georgia.
Also 68,089 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in July, an increase of 3,295, or 5.1 percent, from 64,794 in June. However, there was a decline of 25,899 initial claims, or 27.6 percent, from 93,988 filed in July 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, administrative and support services, and construction.

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