Georgia Jobless Rate Posts Largest Decline in 34 Years

Mike Klein, GPPF Forum Editor

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November fell below 10 percent for the first time since June and the state is celebrating the largest one-month rate decline in 34 years.  Flip the coin and Georgia has exceeded the national rate for 52 consecutive months.  Almost one-half million Georgians are officially counted as unemployed.

The state reported 9.9 percent official unemployment in November, down three-tenths of one percent from October.  Some but not all improvement is related to holiday season temporary hiring.  “We had the best November since 2007 for retail hiring, while seeing gains in the financial and business sectors,” said state labor commissioner Mark Butler.

Georgia reported 467,722 official unemployed in November, down from 486,609 one year earlier.  State and local governments trimmed 22,500 jobs during the twelve-month period.  Improvement within the private sector was evident in manufacturing and service-related industries.

The economic recovery remains fragile and Georgia still has a huge challenge with long-term unemployed who have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.  Their numbers declined slightly from 252,500 twelve months ago to 248,900 last month.  Long-term unemployed are 53.2 percent of the state’s 467,722 jobless.

Georgia also reported a 3.1 percent increase from October to November in the number of first – time claims for unemployment insurance.  More than 55,700 filed initial claims last month, some because of temporary layoffs.  Initial claims declined 15 percent compared to November 2010.  Link to Department of Labor video interview with Commissioner Butler.

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