4:18 am June 17, 2010, by Henry Unger
Georgia’s unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in May, from 10.3 percent in April, the state labor department reported Thursday.
But the number of long-term unemployed keeps rising. People out of work 27 weeks or longer now make up 47 percent of the state’s jobless, the labor department said.
“It’s disturbing that the number of long-term unemployed Georgia workers is growing by the thousands,” state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement. “There are some signs of improvement in the job market, but we must have robust private sector job creation before our economy will fully recover.”
In May, there were 225,700 long-term unemployed in Georgia. That represents an increase of 143 percent from a year ago and 5 percent from April, the labor department said.
The state’s 10.2 percent jobless rate remains seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than it was a year ago. May is the 32nd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent, the labor department said.
On the positive side of the numbers, Georgia’s job market showed a modest improvement for the fourth consecutive month. The number of payroll jobs in May increased to 3,843,400 — a seven-tenths of a percentage point rise from April. But, the number of jobs remains 1.7 percent less than in May 2009.
Also in May, 57,919 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. That represents a decline of 4.5 percent from April, the labor department said.
Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction and administrative services.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.
Get inside Atlanta's and national business news and how it affects you.
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more