Georgia’s unemployment rate remains at an all-time high. January's 10.4 percent mark is equal to December, and includes even more people added to the state "long term" jobless rolls.
More than 262,000 people are classified as out of work for at least 27 weeks or longer, That’s a jump of 47 percent over a year’s time.
And the gap between the state and national unemployment rate is widening. Georgia’s is nearly 1-and-a-half percentage points higher. The national rate is 9.0 percent.
State labor commissioner Mark Butler says there are some industries looking to hire right now and expand in Georgia. But he’s come across one point of hesitation:
“They’re having a hard time locating skilled employees...people that are ready to go to work. So we have gone into that headfirst to talk to our technical skills and talk with our business community to open up lines of communication.”
Butler says he’s noticed a particular skills gap in jobs such as electricians and welders.
Butler says his office has stepped-up efforts to act as a go-between to connect potential employers with educational and workforce agencies.