Labor commissioner to seek federal loan, hold jobs summit

Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will be seeking a federal loan to boost the state’s depleted unemployment insurance fund and also will call a special jobs summit for next month.

Thurmond, in an exclusive AJC interview today, said the jobs summit will bring together the “best minds from the public and private sectors to develop an economic growth and job creation strategy.”

Two weeks ago, a Biz Beat column asked Thurmond to call such a meeting.

Thurmond will hold a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol to discuss details of the summit and his request for the federal loan.

After disbursing $1.6 billion so far this year in unemployment insurance, the state fund only has about $25 million left.

Thurmond also will release November’s unemployment figures Thursday. Economists expect it to stay above 10 percent.

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40 comments Add your comment


December 16th, 2009
10:19 am

HOW DOES THE FEDs loan $$$$$$ it does not have-?????


December 16th, 2009
10:20 am

A JOBs Summit is a JOKE…..


December 16th, 2009
10:22 am

UNemployment Insurance…guarantees those gettiig $$$ will not seek work……you idiot.

Road Scholar

December 16th, 2009
10:23 am

David @10:20: Not to the unemployed! Now you wouldn’t be blogging from your work computer, would you?


December 16th, 2009
10:33 am

This is great news. I continue to applaud what Commissioner Thurmond is doing for the unemployed in Georgia. A job summit will at least get ideas on the table to get the job market the boost it truly needs.


December 16th, 2009
10:38 am

I’m a small business owner and would like to expand my business. I have good credit and have been able to purchase equipment without any problems. The biggest obstacle I have to expanding my business is one thing. Government. If I hire more employees I have to pay unemployment taxes, FICA, and Federal and State withholding taxes. Then I have to file reports for each of these taxes, plus submit my sales tax each month. I also have to meet other requirements all dictated by the government. Frankly the thought of all this scares me and if I do hire someone it will be thru a temp service.


December 16th, 2009
10:47 am

Well, Jerry, you do what you feel is best for your business. Typically, during an economic recovery, what you are doing is normal and good. Once you have someone in there who can help you with this aspect of your business, the more likely you are to expand and succeed. I sell accounting software and have clients who outsource that aspect of their business. Congratulations, you’re normal.


December 16th, 2009
10:50 am

My experience is I don’t think the government knows what the left hand and right hands are doing!!!!
I was laid off from my job just a week before Thanksgiving a year ago and I went to file unemployment. I stood patiently in line for several hours to be told someone will call you later. And several days went by only to find out on Christmas Eve, yes you are qualified for unemployment but you make too much in severance for us to give it to you therefore, you don’t qualify. Come back next year! I was so disappointed for all the hard work and money that went into social security and health care that I didn’t see that I should have set aside for unemployment.

Jerry, I am looking part time work but are you in Gwinnett or Forsyth areas?


December 16th, 2009
10:53 am

And David, from my experience with the unemployment office last year, you would have to prove that you actually went out and looked for the job or submitted applications and they do check up on those from what the sweet folks in line has told me.


December 16th, 2009
11:05 am

David, those people who are collecting unemployment are struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment doesn’t pay for the lifestyle, it only makes it possible to struggle to get by. You must prove you are actually looking for work, and with today’s job market, finding employment is a struggle, not a given. Those who are unemployed are looking for a hand, not a handout.


December 16th, 2009
11:14 am

Anyone on umemployment knows that the amount of money you get barely pays for essentials – and it usually does not. No one would chose to stay on unemployment if a job was available.

I am a college educated (graduate degree) professional and have had to collect unemployment at one point in my life. It was humiliating and no fun. But, it did serve its purpose.

Those that have some warped idea that unemployment is a paid vacation need to check with reality.


December 16th, 2009
11:19 am


If you get the tax break, are you going to pay your employees more?


December 16th, 2009
11:21 am

David, Your comment was rude and offensive. Many people have to draw unemployment right now because they lost their jobs. Unemployement is only a fraction of one’s original salary, so suggesting they will not look for work shows that you are the idiot!

I reported David’s offensive comment. Let’s see how long it takes the AJC to pull it down.


December 16th, 2009
11:27 am

David, the amount of money an individual collects in unemployment insurance is determined by the amount of money and individual was paid in the previous five quarters. The max in Gerogia is $320.00/per week, and most poeple don’t qualify for that amount. Even if you made a million dollars, you would be limited to $320.00/week in benefits for a maximum of twenty-six weeks without an extension. Most people don’t qaulify for twenty-six weeks. Most people who receive unemployment insurance are required to jump through hoops which include attending mandatory workshops in hopes of making them more employable so that can get off unemployment insurance as quickly as possible.


December 16th, 2009
11:29 am

dee – a jobs summit is a joke
David is right on!

Ms. Chelle

December 16th, 2009
11:43 am



December 16th, 2009
11:52 am

Also, let’s while we are cutting taxes, let’s get rid of the DOE, DOT, and DOD!!!!

Unemployed and Optimistic

December 16th, 2009
11:55 am

Do any of you know the goal of a jobs summit? Obviously not, from your posts on this blog. @David, I read the article with comprehension. It stated that they were convening individuals from the private and public sector to strategize on creating jobs. What article are you reading? Many people are struggling even with their unemployment checks. You seem to be someone that has nothing better to do but put your foot on those individuals that are suffering. Just wait until it happens to you. Right now, you sit there on your company’s computer instigating negativity. I am unemployed, applied for my unemployment, I search everyday for eight hours (I make it a job looking for work) and I have gotten a few interviews. I am optimistic. This jobs summit seems like a great idea to me. Anything positive is good. Reality’s post is right on target. This is not a vacation for me. Unless you have something positive to say to those folks including me that lost their job because of the downturn in the economy. I Would Keep My Mouth Shut!

It May Be You

December 16th, 2009
12:08 pm

I am tired of people who have jobs throwing cold water on people like me. Any of you idiots posting negative stuff–I hope you are the one that gets the next pink slip. How dare you judge me or anyone else on unemployment. Who are you to say I am on vacation? Thank goodness, Michael Thurmond is having a jobs summit. That’s more than I can say for other elected officials. Where are our members of congress, governor or state legislature. What have they come up with to create jobs? NADA. Anyone, doing something that will put me back to work needs solutions and creativity not nimwits that want to bash the idea. Where are your ideas? Do you have any? I thought not. Right now,, I have created my own job by using some of my skills–writing. I help people with resumes, business plans, etc. GO DO SOMETHING POSITIVE AND GET OFF THIS BLOG! YOU HAVE NOW CONVINCED ME YOU ARE THE IDIOTS!

say what?

December 16th, 2009
12:19 pm

Glad Michael Thurmond has found a position he seems to enjoy. The politics of labor are better suited for him, than his leadership of DHR, to include DFACS and Mental Health. I will never forget his trips around the state to meet with employees, only to tell us that we were worthless and if we did not like it LEAVE. He told us the story of how he felt his single mother was mistreated by the welfare people. Glad I don’t think of him based on one interaction, or I could never say that he is good as the DOL leader.

David is unhappy, and please contact your local community service board for assistance.


December 16th, 2009
12:30 pm

Unemployment sucks and the only people I would wish this on would be the people who let me go. It’s far from a vacation… I am not soaking in the sun or playing in the water. I am trying to decide what bill I can pay this week and trying to find a job. I am not looking for a handout but a hand up. I am tired of stupid people invading these boards making stupid comments like David….

Killer Beaver Chestnuts

December 16th, 2009
12:31 pm

I just filed for UI yesterday was a painless process I hope it is just as painless receiving it..Although it is not much im sure I qualify for the Max I will be taking some time off and enjoying goverment money… fk it the big corps did it with bail out money i guess i will do it with the UI money.. I love america…..god bless mexico..god bless africa..


December 16th, 2009
12:37 pm

I don’t know what a job summit would accomplish. Where are all the green jobs? Why are employers not hiring and why are there so many hoops to jump through to get hired? The attitude of those that are employed is I got mine you get yours. People are not willing to help the job hunter find work.

M Nuckolls

December 16th, 2009
12:37 pm

I recently attended a job fair in Dalton hosted by the GDOL. This was nothing but a joke. I asked to leave early from the part time job that I finally found only to get there and have to sit through a orientation meeting that was nothing but a bunch of bull. Then they wanted to review your resume which I appreciated. But because of the time that was wasted there it gave me exactly ten minutes to speak to any potential employers. Of those there, I only found one place that had a position open and I was already aware of that and had applied for it two weeks before. Quit wasting the taxpayers money and sincerely use the Department of Labor for what it was intended to be used for. That is helping the unemployed find jobs. Not listening to others talk.


December 16th, 2009
12:46 pm

While my heart goes out to people who are currently unemployed (I have been there myself– it’s NOT fun), I think the concept of a summit is pointless. The summit is a government’s attempt to make the citizens think they’re doing something.

To all the job-seekers: Keep your chin up. You WILL get through this!


December 16th, 2009
12:53 pm

Job hunters are frustrated and demoralized. When time is wasted on interviews that go nowhere and when the interview is over, the employer tells you that there aren’t any openings but your application will be kept on file. We are treated like second-hand citizens, the red-headed step-child.


December 16th, 2009
12:55 pm

Well I hope he gets the funds because come January 2nd I will be down there filling out my paperwork. I don’t want to hear “We have no money”. Also I wish they would consider me on the summit panel. I can solve this whole jobless mess in a matter of minutes. Send eveyone that is not an American Citizen holding a job back to their homeland. Also fine companies that do offshoring or heavily tax them.


December 16th, 2009
12:58 pm

David – a job summit may be a joke, but I am currently seeking a job and receiving $$$$. I am online everyday looking, I am sending resumes out for jobs that I am qualified for and for ones that I’m not qualified for just hoping and praying for someone to just give me a call back. Some may just be milking the system and living off of the government but before you make comments like you did (saying those receiving $$$ will not seek a job) know that there are some hard working people out here looking. A$$!!


December 16th, 2009
1:01 pm

For all job seekers, I would suggest finding a local Crossroads Career Network and attending one of the 8 week workshops for career seekers. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had, and the benefits can be long lasting. If you search for Crossroads Career Network, you will be able to find a local church offering these classes.

Been There, Done That

December 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

The story is two fold, first is that the UI pool is running out of money and needs a loan from US Govt. Doesn’t matter if you agree or not, they still have to fund it. Get over it.

Second, they want to have a job summit to figure out how to “create” jobs. The problem in the job market today is that there is not a job market. Companies are still trimmming their staffs. Layoffs are occuring with big numbers of employees being let go.

The people that need to have a jobs summit are the ones in the white house. They need to figure out that they need to stop spending money and give tax breaks to business so business will create jobs. We can’t all be on the government payroll, someone needs to produce something.


December 16th, 2009
1:45 pm

It takes until now to decide to have a jobs summit? Where have they been. Nothing like reactionary instead of proactive! No wonder our local economy is in shambles, our local forclosures are an embarassment and there are thousands of us wanting to work and can’t find a thing. I have yet to see any of our local politicians cut their staff in line with the unemployed! Also, if the revenue is not coming in, then it is time to stop spending money which is not there.


December 16th, 2009
2:12 pm

It’s time to give the small business owners a break. A huge break. They can add jobs and get people off the unemployment lines but they need a break. Give them a tax break or tax credit for every additional employee they hire. A huge amount so they won’t hesitate to hire. The federal government can pay for it by reducing their payroll. We are a very greedy country and it’s time it stopped. When the average taxpayers are losing their jobs and homes…something is really, really wrong. Maybe it’s also time to stop our immigration until we can get all our unemployed back to work. Why let new immigrants flood this country when we can’t provide jobs? Oh…I know why. The federal government will use our tax money and give it to them.


December 16th, 2009
2:16 pm

For those of you that have jobs, posting and whining about someone doing something to help folks get back to work today; I feel sorry for you. Pretty much every city and state in America looks like Atlanta and the State of Georgia. From 1993-2000, it was a jobseekers market. Folks could go from job to job–no worries. The jobs were plentiful. Than greed, corruption, unrealistic union demands and no government oversight on anything reared its ugly head. Now it is an employers’ market. Even if companies have not fallen by the wayside they are trimming their staffs in anticipation of falling by the wayside. A jobs summit can’t hurt anyone. A jobs summit is not a career fair or job fair. I’m sure Michael Thurmond would love to hear about your job creation strategies or green job strategy. Instead of blogging why don’t you come up with some solutions for creating jobs.

Neal Kelley

December 16th, 2009
3:07 pm

I guess DAVID.. must be rich. Unemployment insurances keeps people from requesting additional money from social programs and extreme cases robbing the nearest store to feed there family.. I hope you never get laid off!!!!


December 16th, 2009
4:42 pm

Bertram: If I were to get a break from the paperwork nightmare the government requires and all the taxes they can think of to add to my bottom, why yes I could pay an employee more money. When you create a job, you have to factor in these costs vs what revenue you generate. If I know I have to allow so much of my revenue to pay for the taxes, that money is factored first into what I can pay someone. The issue I have is with the paperwork and not the money (although I do support the fair tax, but we wont get into that argument here). Julie is right, there are services out there that can handle that paperwork for you. Meaning there is a whole industry just to service the paperwork of the State and Federal Government. Plus there are other hidden fees that you as an employee never even see on your payroll check. If you had more of your paycheck, you would do more for the economy than the Federal Government would ever do by taking the money away from the both of us.


December 17th, 2009
5:04 pm

i am a retired senior citzen and i donot get a great deal of money from social security so i had to go back to a techincal college to learn a good trade so i can live above the poverty level i had a job but i got laid off in march iwas just barely getting by the with my wife medical bills and prescriptions so i also want a job and not a handout i have been working for 55years and i wiil work if i can find any kind of work so donot knock people who are getting unemployment because most of us want to work and all of us are not lazy


December 19th, 2009
12:48 am

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5:06 am

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Joseph L

December 24th, 2009
3:09 pm

So what about speeding up the design and construction of High Speed Rail network we lack in Georgia? Let GA companies hire the unemployed to build, design and maintain the networks. Parcel the work out to the regions yet to be designed and have them submit the designs to the GA DOT for approval. Regions left for analysis, Macon to Savannah, Savannah to Jacksonville and Atlanta to Birmingham. Currently the Macon-Atlanta-Greenville-Charlotte Rail Corridor has been evaluated.

Jeannine D

July 1st, 2010
4:42 pm