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Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 3:57am

Georgia Unemployment Falls Sharply

Georgia's unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 9.9 percent in November, the largest one-month decline in 34 years.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday the rate dropped from 10.2 percent in October because of an increase of 22,400 jobs in the state. He said not all of the growth was linked to an uptick in holiday hiring.

“We saw some gains in the financial sector, in the business sector, some really significant gains in two areas that have been hit very hard by the recession,” Butler said. “So that news is very encouraging.”

The number of jobs in the state rose to 3.8 million in November. Other sectors that grew included education and health care.

Butler said the falling rate is not a trend, yet.

“I think one month with what we’ve seen is good news, and I’ll take that good news, but I would like see 3 or 4 months before I would be willing to call that a trend,” he said.

Georgia still has about 20,000 fewer jobs than it did in November of last year, when the jobless rate was 10.4 percent. That's largely because 22,500 government jobs were cut over the last year.

Butler said it was a sign politicians are trying to "make government live within its means."


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.