While the national unemployment rate improves, Georgia leads the nation in job losses. The US Labor Department says the national jobless rate declined to its lowest level in two-and-a-half years. The Labor Statistics Bureau, however, says Georgia is the only state in the nation with a statistically significant year-over-year job decline.
State labor officials say Georgia's unemployment rate has risen to 10.3 percent, the highest level since January. The Georgia Department of Labor said the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September was up one-tenth of a percentage point from 10.2 percent the previous month.
Georgia is getting a federal labor grant of $3.75 million to help hundreds of workers affected by the closure of the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome. State labor officials say the federal cash comes from National Emergency Grant funding to provide training and support services to about 750 affected workers.
The Georgia Department of Labor reports that metro unemployment rates rose throughout the state in June. The figures are not seasonally adjusted, and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that layoffs among non-contract school employees and the addition of students to the labor force drove unemployment figures higher.
Laid-off workers filing for unemployment benefits rose by more than 18 percent in January over the month before. 89,659 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in January, an increase of 14,024, or 18.5 percent, from 75,635 in December. But, there was a decline of 5,605, or 5.9 percent, from 95,264 claims filed in January 2010.
Unemployment in Georgia continues above the national average. That meant the State had to borrow money from the federal government to help pay benefits. The debt is rising and the state will soon have to pay interest.