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Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 6:08pm

State's October Unemployment Rate Inches Up

Updated: 5 years ago.
Georgia's October unemployment rate rose only a tenth of a point to 10.2 percent. (photo-Ga Dept of Labor)

Georgia's unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point to 10.2 percent in October. This time last year, Georgia's rate stood at 6.9 percent.

The new numbers from the state's labor department show a loss of 227,700 payroll jobs since October of 2008. The heaviest losses of jobs came in the sectors of construction and manufacturing. However, careers in health care and education continue to show the most immunity to job cuts.

For Georgians out of work, there are two major job fair events being held today featuring dozens of employers.

Augusta will hold one of the two fairs, from 9 a.m. to noon. That will be held on the Augusta campus of the University of Phoenix, located at 3150 Perimeter Parkway.

In the northwest corner of the state, Dalton will host the other job fair. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road.

Labor officials say the Dalton fair is expected to be one of the biggest the region has ever hosted. It comes in an area of the state especially hard-hit by unemployment.

Both fairs are co-sponsored by the state's Department of Labor, and will feature dozens of employers.

Meanwhile, as the economy struggles to gain its footing, Georgia labor officials say a federal loan might be requested next month to keep the state's unemployment insurance fund from drying-up.

One year ago, the state had $1 billion in the fund...it’s now down to $139 million. The state has been averaging monthly payouts of $147 million to out-of-work Georgians.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says a decision on whether to request a loan could be made in the next few weeks. Exactly when will depend on how quickly the benefits’ fund runs-out. Thurmond says the federal stimulus legislation allows for states to ask for an ‘interest free’ advance on jobless benefits funding.

Thurmond says the state is up against the wall.

"This is just a clear indication of the deep and severe economic downturn and the difficulty in the job market here in Georgia."

Thurmond points-out Georgia’s fund situation is still better than some other states. He says some are already billions into advance loan funding to pay jobless benefits.

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