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Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 8:15am

Unemployment Rate Continues Record-Breaking Rise

2009 continues to be a bad year for Georgia’s job market. The state labor department released July’s unemployment numbers today, and the rate continues to rise.

For the seventh month in a row Georgia’s unemployment rate hit another record – up two-tenths of a percentage point to 10.3%. That’s almost one percentage point higher than the national average.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, more than 490,000 unemployed Georgians were looking for work.

State labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says the key to curbing the rising rates is helping private business owners maintain – and grow – their companies.

“Government can provide some support and stimulus, but at the end of the day what’s really needed is private sector job creation.”

Thurmond says economists expect the recession to continue through the end of the year. He says if that's the case, the state's unemployment rate could climb to 11%.