Georgia Jobless Rate Hits 9%

New graduates, seasonal school layoffs are the traditional cause of the June increase.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.0 percent in June, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in May, the first increase in almost a year. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in June a year ago.

“The unemployment rate traditionally inches up in June because new graduates and people hunting summer jobs enter the job market at the same time the private and public schools are laying off for the summer,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

The number of jobs dropped by 8,200, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,941,500 in May to 3,933,300 in June.

“The June job loss is a lot less than we anticipated, based on recent trends,” said Butler, “and despite the overall loss, we gained 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 900 in construction. This is encouraging.” While Georgia lost 8,200 jobs, the state has averaged losing 27,100 jobs between May and June since 2008.

The number of jobs in June was 45,200 more than the 3,888,100 in June 2011. The growth was in professional and business services, 23,900; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 15,200; education and health care, 7,300; manufacturing, 4,300; and leisure and hospitality, 2,400.

The state’s labor force increased to 4,758,610 in June, up from 4,757,140 in May. Georgia’s labor force has increased 13 of the past 14 months, while the national labor force has increased eight of the past 14 months.

There were 48,879 first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in June, up 2,116, or 4.5 percent, from May. However, initial claims declined over the year, dropping by 10,102, or 17.1 percent, from 58,981 in June 2011.

The number of long-term unemployed workers decreased to 230,100 in June, down 6,800 from 236,900 in May. And, the number of long-term unemployed is down 20,400, or 8.1 percent, from 250,500 in June 2011. The long-term unemployed, those out of work for more than 26 weeks, make up 53.4 percent of those unemployed in Georgia.

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