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Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 2:08am

GA Unemployment Stops Rise

For the first time in more than six months, Georgia’s unemployment rate stopped its record-breaking rise.

But it’s not because more Georgians are finding work.

The state’s labor department released unemployment numbers for August and the picture still looks bleak with 10.2% of Georgia’s workforce considered unemployed. That's just one-tenth of a percentage point away from tying last month’s all-time high.

But even though the rate didn’t climb, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says it’s no time to celebrate.

“When you look behind the numbers, you find that the primary cause for the decline is actually a reduction or decline in the number of jobs that are available as well as the number of individuals that comprise Georgia’s workforce.”

In other words – with fewer jobs available, people have either left the state or simply stopped looking for work.

The state’s labor force has lost nearly 80,000 workers since the beginning of the recession almost two years ago.

Georgia’s 10.2% rate still remains above the national average of which is now at 9.7%.

For county-by-county listing of first time unemployment claims, click here (PDF link).


Edgar Treiguts contributed to this story.