11:25 am December 17, 2009, by Henry Unger
Georgia will borrow $70 million from the federal government to replenish a depleted unemployment insurance fund for the remainder of the year, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced today.
Thurmond also said unemployment insurance premiums for 15 percent of Georgia employers will rise next year by a “modest” amount because of the state’s growing jobless problem.
The state’s unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in November, Thurmond reported today, from a revised 10.1 percent in October.
The state’s unemployment insurance fund has only $25 million in it right now, not enough to pay next week’s benefits without tapping the federal interest-free loan. A year ago, the state had $909 million in the fund. But since then, the recession deepened and layoffs increased. Currently, 268,995 Georgians are receiving unemployment benefits.
Thurmond did not know how much money the state would need to borrow from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits next year.
In addition to these short-term measures, Thurmond said he was calling a “Georgia Jobs Summit” for Jan. 18 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.
“This bipartisan gathering will bring together Georgia’s best minds to develop a comprehensive, state-level strategy that will help spur economic growth and job creation,” Thurmond said.
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