Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to record 10.5 percent

Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to a record 10.5 percent in February, up from 10.4 percent in January, the state labor department reported Thursday.

The February jobless rate was up 1.8 percentage points from 8.7 percent at this time last year, the labor department said.

For 29 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent. Metro Atlanta’s rate is 10.8 percent.

The number of jobless workers in the state increased to 496,030, from 488,163 in January.

Statewide, the annual losses came in manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation and utilities, along with professional and business services and financial activities. On a positive note, educational and health services added 5,700 jobs over the year.

Also in February, 66,069 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a decrease of 30.6 percent, from January.

The average length of time Georgians drew unemployment benefits increased to a record 16 weeks in February. A year ago, it was 11.7 weeks.

“Record unemployment, half-a-million jobless workers, tens of thousands of lost jobs, tempered only by tepid job growth and lengthening periods of unemployment are stark reminders of the economic challenges that still lie ahead,” said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “However, the significant decline in February initial unemployment insurance claims suggests that Georgia’s job market may be stabilizing.”

76 comments Add your comment

Real

March 18th, 2010
5:40 am

What is the real rate of unemployment and under employment? I think a lot more than 1 out of 10 are out of work or under employed. Add in the employees facing pay cuts and furlough days. What is that rate? That is the number that needs to be on the front of the news.

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
6:11 am

Positive note? Not hardly! Who is paying for educational and health services?

We can think Congress and the WH over the last 30 years. They’ve been bickering over divisive social issues as the global economy changed. But big business will have to start rehiring soon, and never should have cut back to begin. What have they gained? Will our workforce be ready? Not if we don’t change our redneck mentality. The times they are a’changin. But there are still plenty of jobs (130 million?). We just need to go back to the nuclear family where one spouse stays home. In many cases they net little, if anything, by working outside of the home.

Captain Chaos

March 18th, 2010
6:52 am

But where are all the jobs the billions in corporate tax cuts the Georgia legislature larded on their lobbyist buddy’s over the past 8 years were suppose to produce? Vote the bums out!!!

The General

March 18th, 2010
6:53 am

@ TnGelding

Man, you sure have some loopy opinions. Do you ever get to spend any time in the reality zone?

Gus

March 18th, 2010
6:58 am

Drug test the politicians.

Yeah! 2010 -Social Security doled out more than it took in

March 18th, 2010
7:26 am

How many new auto manufacturing plants – auto, steel, etc. has Alabama added? What has Georgia done over the last eight to make Atlanta Metro – the economic engine of the state – a better place to live? How many fortune 500 companies have left the state? How are we laying the groudwork for improving opportunities in the future?

Finally leadership – Who were the great leaders that demonstrated vision and followed through to improve Georgia? Who would be considered a leader today for the state?

Lots of questions; the trends are disturbing; and I don’t hear a lot of innovative ideas floating around either.

TN I concur with the General – watch re runs of Ozzie and Harriet and you will find the place you are dreaming of.

Rick

March 18th, 2010
7:26 am

Stop issuing work visas to foreign nationals to take jobs that can be performed by US citizens and legal residents!

Have all US businesses use E-Verify to facilitate US citizens obtaining jobs over foreign nationals in our country illegally!

Stop electing government officials that do not put the interests of US citizens before those of foreign nationals!

Boogers in your soup

March 18th, 2010
7:32 am

With Obama and his cronies in charge Unemployment will not be decreasing anytime soon. This is good news for the Nov 2010 elections!!!

Reps sweep out the Dem trash!!

Julie

March 18th, 2010
7:42 am

Yet again, more unproductive comments here, nothing but name calling coated with sexist comments.

Phoenix

March 18th, 2010
7:50 am

I hardly believe that will happen, most Americans who live in reality (not Glennbeckistan) know who is responsible for this mess.

Return to the Constitution

March 18th, 2010
7:56 am

Obama’s stimulus has failed as anyone who studies history knew it would. His approach has never worked and never will. On the other hand we know what works. We can see from John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan what needs to be done for a recovery. November cannot get here quick enough!

Throw out the socialists on both sides!

Steve

March 18th, 2010
7:58 am

Obama and the other jokers in D.C. have had more than a year to address this, but they continue to push Healthcare……where is the stimulus money and what did it stimulate? I didn’t agree with the stimulus and still don’t, but now that they have done it where’s the ROI?

Lover

March 18th, 2010
7:59 am

I LOVE you Julie! Will you MARRY me?

Now Julie, is this an unproductive comment? And I love your sexist comment too

Lover

HackYouKnow

March 18th, 2010
8:05 am

This is a depression, not a recession. And it’s not President Obama’s fault, but his predecessors.

fulldawg

March 18th, 2010
8:06 am

Think 10.5% is bad? Wait till the great minds in the General Assembly start cutting more teachers’ positions. (We seem to still have the money to hand out vouchers to supplement private schools though.

Another “Sonny Day” in Georgia!

Andy in Blairsville

March 18th, 2010
8:07 am

Obama = Epic Fail

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
8:09 am

The General

March 18th, 2010
6:53 am

Generally speaking, I’m out of the loop.

buckshotannie

March 18th, 2010
8:10 am

All I know is my 53 year old husband has NEVER had to file for unemployment before, not in over 35 years of being in the work force. And he applies for every job out there and is still out of work after 8 months. Luckily I inherited a house and we had sold our house before the bottom fell out, so we can leave our high rent apartment. This takes some pressure off him to find full time work, but it’s a blow to him to have to be supported by his wife. I know that makes him old fashioned and not politically correct, but he thinks a man ought to pull his own weight and this is really hard on him.

lovefreedom

March 18th, 2010
8:15 am

Hackyouknow,clearly you are another kool-aid drinker who bought into the “hope and change.” YES, President IS responsible for this mess. Of course, all he does is blame everybody but himself. He’s the most unpresidential president EVER. No other president has gone around on a daily basis blaming everybody else. He wanted the job. He needs to “man up” and do it. If he would actually get off the campaign trail, maybe he could actually do some real work! He’s so arrogant, and blind to the fact that American’s need jobs yet he wants to cram the health care down everyone’s throat fooling them into believing that we need this NOW. Suppose all those that wanted that hope and change don’t realize this health care won’t help them for four years! He is only interested in his legacy, and doesn’t care about the people. Do you really think he cares? Give me a break! It’s all about him.

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
8:16 am

When does the workforce begin to see any benefit from improved productivity? What about a 32 or 35 hour work week?

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
8:20 am

lovefreedom (but hate reality)

March 18th, 2010
8:15 am

The Kenyan prince has been trying to clean up the mess that started before he was born.

lovefreedom

March 18th, 2010
8:25 am

TnGelding, have to agree with The General, you are loopy!

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 18th, 2010
8:30 am

We need tax relief, end the property tax now! No property tax for schools! No property tax for county governments, NO PROPERTY TAXES AT ALL! Fire as many government workers as necessary to end property taxes NOW.

danno

March 18th, 2010
8:37 am

this is not suprising in fact it should be higher since most of the jobs in the atlanta are are non productive (paper pushers) and had two people doing the job that one should have done.

Its Me

March 18th, 2010
8:38 am

So for all of the Obama-haters…for once, BE SPECIFIC about how you blame Obama for the ballooning unemployment rate after just 1 yr in office…and how Bush is not to blame for wreckless corporate welfare and an unchecked Wall Street.

Enough of the rants…you people are lame and pitiful…come back with some facts.

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
8:42 am

Make that messes.

EJ

March 18th, 2010
8:43 am

We are on the road to socialism. Just wait til HCR kicks in.

http://www.nolanchart.com/article7513.html

woodie

March 18th, 2010
8:44 am

Because of the stifling economic environment, the opportunities for our young people have all but vanished and this, to my thinking, is the most tragic side effect of this recession. Because if you look at the unemployment figures for young people, the rate is astronomical, and this will have a long term negative effect on the future of our economy.

George Foreman 3:16

March 18th, 2010
8:48 am

Whining is the new normal….

AM

March 18th, 2010
8:53 am

It seems unreal that some folks just cannot remember the 8 years disaster before Obama was elected. How much was gas and oil? Were the wars on the budget? Did the banking industry cook books for years and years – hoping to dump the mess on the next in line? No regulation on banking industry or Wall Street? Heck Bush wanted to invest Social Security in the stock market before it crashed. Open borders to let illegals take jobs American need. and the beat goes on…Thought that may jog some memories…

TnGelding

March 18th, 2010
8:54 am

woodie

March 18th, 2010
8:44 am

This and student loans.

killerJ

March 18th, 2010
8:56 am

keep wishing thurmond,maybe it will all go away.the person in office keeps giving the money to those who put us here in the first place.

Road Scholar

March 18th, 2010
8:57 am

What if the stimulus is working (not just up to yur “bailout” standard)? What if we did nothing? Would this situation have been worse?

And for those who said that the lessons from Kennedy and Reagan are needed, are you ready for the growth of governmment like under Reagan?

It’s me and GF 3:16 have it right….What would you do if you were in charge? That is besides the whining and the statements about Socialism, if you even know what that means!

Cameron

March 18th, 2010
8:59 am

Melvin Everson for Labor Commissioner

http://www.melvineverson.com/

bigred

March 18th, 2010
9:05 am

One reason Georgia’s Unemployment Rate has blown up also is because of how many people moved here to find work a few years back that no longer exists!Where do they go once the jobs dry up in a place that once was a full pool?NO WHERE!!!!

Red

March 18th, 2010
9:07 am

Obama told us that if we passed the stimulus we would not see unemployment go past 8.5. But if we DIDN’T pass it it would go to 9 or higher. Well we passed the stimulus. Now we’re in debt deeper and unemployment creeps up ever so higher. The grand plan to save jobs failed.

Add to the fact in Obama’s interview yesterday he said people are losing homes and going bankrupt because of healthcare costs. Odd. The people I see going through that are so due to losing their jobs.

Obama is putting all of his energy into healthcare right now while the nation burns. Instead of working to gain jobs back, he is shoving his government control of healthcare down our throats. Where are his priorities? For those who say this is not Obama’s fault – know this. In a year’s time his only effort at jobs has failed. And now he’s more focused on something unrelated to getting you your job back. You’ll be unemployed and homeless but by God you’ll have your healthcare!

W's Economy

March 18th, 2010
9:08 am

@ Return to the Constitution — “History” is a great tool, and history shows us that there has never been an economic recovery from a major recession without government stimulus!

Reagan — raised taxes 3 times, ran up a huge deficit on government spending. W — continued deficit war spending right through the ‘02 recession. What about the Great Depression though, you ask, wasn’t it WWII that pulled us out, not the New Deal? Well it wasn’t killing Nazis that pulled us out, but government defense jobs paying people to make the bullets.

Any way you cut it, when the economy stalls, and private capital runs scared and won’t invest, government funds must stimulate the growth again. True, governments must then start to cut back, but you do that in the good times, not the bad. When tax revenue is high, pay down that debt. Let see, who does that sound like. W? Nooooo. Clinton? Bingo. (See “Pay as You Go” laws = huge surplus when left office). And President Obama has proposed doing the same. The sensible people have returned to government!

Sims

March 18th, 2010
9:11 am

Phoenix: And how long will you ride that excuse? When exactly does Obama get to own this “mess”?

Independent

March 18th, 2010
9:12 am

IMO…..Obama should’ve given that money directly to the American people that are 18 and over, not banks and big businesses.

Think about it, some people are mindless and wasteful so they would’ve ran out and spent it right away (good for the economy however). Some people would have done nothing but deposited it into their bank accounts (this would have helped the banks that failed). Some people are natural born entrepreneurs and would’ve used the money to start a business and would have needed to hire right away or in the near future (decreasing unemployment while workers put earned wages back into the economy)

We need to replace the leadership on a federal, state, and local level in order to get back to the productivity levels of the 1990’s!!!

The Cynical White Boy

March 18th, 2010
9:14 am

The rich don’t worry about paying bills – they own the republicans.

The unions make other people pay their bills – they own the democrats.

The ‘poor’ don’t have bills to pay – they have lifetime Obama-benefits.

That leaves the middle class – who pay everybody else’s bills.

Unemployment? Heck, it might be a relief from the frustration of busting your butt and watchiing your money taken from you by politicians, then redistributed to people they want to give it to.

Just a good old boy

March 18th, 2010
9:16 am

While Sonny and his cronies in the legislature didn’t cause this national crisis, they did nothing proactive to lessen the effect. They were to busy with their pet projects, like fish farms, fishing hall of fame, and writing retroactive tax laws that benefitted their own finances. Their solution is to rob education programs and teacher retirement. Sonny’s personal wealth has not suffered at all, in fact it has grown while he was in office. That pretty much tells the tale.

Spanky Spankmeyer

March 18th, 2010
9:21 am

“So for all of the Obama-haters…for once, BE SPECIFIC about how you blame Obama for the ballooning unemployment rate after just 1 yr in office…and how Bush is not to blame for wreckless corporate welfare and an unchecked Wall Street.”

“haters”…lol…so 80’s. As I recall Mr Obama stated he had a plan and with his round of stimulus the unemployment rate would be no higher than 8%. Well 8% has come and gone. Last I checked we were around 10.2% and even that is incorrect as after 6 months persons “drop-off” and are no longer counted.

How is that whiner?

Oh…what about closing gitmo?
Oh…what about bringing home the troops?

Obama lied and our troops died and the citizens starve all because of political correctness/stupidity. Obama is a FAILURE!!

Boogers in your Soup

March 18th, 2010
9:25 am

LOL…all the pro-obamaniacs…LOL. So cute, naive, sweet standing up for their lackluster leader.

Mr Styling and Profilin.
Mr All talk and little action.
Mr All Flash and No Substance.
Mr Lukewarm.

Fact is Obama owns this mess now and he mentally incapable of first understanding it and second repairing it. Then as the cherry on top he picks Biden as his VP…LOL…mistake after mistake followed by more mistakes. Obama is no good to himself nor anyone else…*FLUSH*

songbird

March 18th, 2010
9:28 am

Georgia’s unemployment rate is a direct result of bad decisions made by Georgia’s inept governor and legislature. Just watch them continue to screw up this state.

All of you socialist whiners – just what do you think McCain and that twit Palin would have done to make things different?

Morrus

March 18th, 2010
9:28 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

Art T

March 18th, 2010
9:30 am

Actual unemployment rate is about 18% including those filing for unemp./ not able to draw benefits/ underemployed and those not on job radar market. Add to this in next 2 months 3,000,000 young people graduating from colleges without jobs (1/2 of class of 2009 has no job commensurate with their education.

I was sub teaching at a school in a suburban county Eastside Atlanta . In the physcial science classes of a total of 80 students only 12 turned in their work. One boy disruptive and wearing a shirt that said :Just stop Snitching” grabbed one of the students who did her work and tried to steal it. I told him he needs to wear a shirt that says “Just stop stealing. When asked what he intended to do for future said We will all be taken care of!! Good luck to the current selfish and remorseless young people of ” gimme the stuff for nothing” generation. Most of these kids will be street thugs, in jail or dead prior to 21.

andy

March 18th, 2010
9:33 am

After roughly 20 years of progress during the 80s & 90s, Georgia decided to put the Republicans in charge around the year 2000. 10 years now.

Well, people worried about issues like huntin’ and fishin’ amendments and gay marriage. Meanwhile, the Republicans gave tax breaks to the wealthiest while neglecting the state in general.

Now, 10 years later, Georgia is considered a place to be avoided by tourists, businesses and new arrivals. These unemployment numbers are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems that the “do nothing” mentality of the Republicans is showing. The roads are congested, water is in short supply, and crime is on the rise.

Georgia’s heydey is is in the past. We might as well call ourselves Alabama.

Red

March 18th, 2010
9:39 am

songbird – really? This unemployment rate is due to the governor and legislature and nothing else? Amazing how all of those Blue State crowd fled the utopian liberal paradise up north for jobs and prosperity. Because of that flood, our labor market here was flooded. Georgia is carrying the load of inept Blue State policies. Sonny and the legislature are not innocent but to hold this solely at their feet is ignorance.

DannyX

March 18th, 2010
9:43 am

LOL! Given the opportunity not one could explain why this is Obama’s fault! Not one.

Come on Booger, get your finger out of your nose and start typing!

Its Me

March 18th, 2010
9:48 am

“haters”…lol…so 80’s. As I recall Mr Obama stated he had a plan and with his round of stimulus the unemployment rate would be no higher than 8%. Well 8% has come and gone. Last I checked we were around 10.2% and even that is incorrect as after 6 months persons “drop-off” and are no longer counted.

How is that whiner?

Oh…what about closing gitmo?
-AS AN OBAMA SUPPORTER, I ALWAYS DISAGREE W/HIS IDEA OF CLOSING GITMO. SO I’M HAPPY ITS STILL OPEN
Oh…what about bringing home the troops?
-HE NEVER SAID “IMMEDIATELY”. IF HE WOULD JUST PICK THEM UP AND BRING THEM ALL HOME, ALL OF YOU DITTOHEADS WOULD JUST SAID HE DIDN’T “FINISH THE JOB” AND CALL HIM “WEAK ON NATIONAL DEFENSE”…AND YOU KNOW THIS

Obama lied and our troops died and the citizens starve all because of political correctness/stupidity.
-NICE SOUNDBITE, NOW CAN YOU INCLUDE *SPECIFICS*?!?

Obama is a FAILURE!!
-AFTER A YEAR, HE HELPED AVERT AN ECONOMIC MELTDOWN (CAUSED UNDER THE WATCH OF BUSH). ALSO, IF YOU EVER TOOK ECONOMICS CLASSES INSTEAD OF AUTOSHOP, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT THERE IS NOTHING NO ONE CAN DO TO TURN THE ECONOMY OF A COUNTRY AROUND ON A DIME.

THE COUNTRY HAS A HISTORY OF REPUBS RUNNING OF DEFICITS AND ALLOWING CORPORATE CHEATING AND THEN RELYING ON DEMOCRATS TO CLEAN UP THEIR MESSES.

WHY DON’T YOU TAKE YOUR “TRUTHINESS” TO FAUX NEWS.