Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to a record 10.6 percent in March. That was up from 10.5 percent in February, the state labor department said Thursday.
A year ago, the jobless rate was 9 percent, the labor department said.
For 30 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent. The number of jobless workers in the state increased to 497,500, from 494,321 in February.
There was some positive news in the report.
In March, 69,265 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits — a decline of 27,041 from March 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.
Also, the number of payroll jobs in March increased 10,500 from February, to total 3,795,400.
Still, the number of payroll jobs have decreased 112,300 from March of 2009.
“Georgia’s unemployment rate continues to rise, however, the pace of new layoffs is slowing significantly,” state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement “More importantly, our state has experienced modest job growth for two consecutive months, suggesting that a fledgling recovery may be gaining traction.”
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