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Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 6:49am

Signs Of Good News In Latest Ga. Jobless Rate

The state's unemployment rate has risen again to a new record--now 10.6 percent for March.

That’s up a tenth of a point from the previous month. And it’s now been 30 consecutive months Georgia’s unemployment rate has stood above the national, which is currently 9.7.

But state labor commissioner Michael Thurmond says encouraging trends are taking hold—like the pace of layoffs slowing significantly.

And Thurmond’s seen another trend for the better at various job fair events around the state:

"We continue to see record participation at our job fairs throughout the state of Ga. The good news is that we’re beginning to see an increase in the number of employers who are participating, who have current job openings.”

Thurmond says payroll jobs jumped by 10,500 in March.

Cities in Georgia that Thurmond says have been “recession-proof”--with job gains over the past year--include Athens, Warner Robins, Hinesville...and Augusta.

"You have a regional hub…really a state and national hub for medical services there in Augusta, as well as an ongoing expansion at Fort Gordon, and increasing hiring at the Savannah River Site.”

Thurmond says he’s even seen buds of recovery in the manufacturing sector. That’s been one of the hardest-hit industries in the recession.

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