Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond calls the new numbers on unemployment the "classic good news/bad news scenario."
He says fewer Georgians are now being laid-off, but a higher number of people stay unemployed for longer stretches of time. Thurmond cautioned the unemployment rate will continue to rise because jobs are still scarce.
"Unless we really get private sector job creation moving in the right direction, we'll continue to see high levels of unemployment in the community."
Officials say nearly 94,000 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for benefits in July, a spike of 59% over a year’s time.
Most of the initial claims are coming from laid-off workers in manufacturing, construction, wholesale/retail trade, and administrative and support services.