5:16 am July 15, 2010, by Henry Unger
Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 10 percent in June as thousands of discouraged workers gave up their search after months of failing to find jobs, the state labor department said Thursday.
“Georgia’s job market is showing signs of renewed deterioration,” state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement. “A sharp increase in the number of discouraged workers, rising long-term unemployment, increased new layoffs, and anemic job growth suggests that the fledgling economic recovery may be losing steam.”
The decline in the unemployment rate from 10.1 percent in May occurred largely because Georgia’s labor force shrunk by 17,953 in June, as long-term unemployed workers lost hope for finding new jobs, the labor department said. This is the largest monthly decline since May 2001.
The number of payroll jobs in June decreased two-tenths of a percentage point from May. And the number of jobs remains 1.3 percent less than in June 2009, the labor department said.
In June, there were 230,000 long-term unemployed Georgians — those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. This represents an increase of 117 percent from a year ago. The long-term unemployed now account for 49 percent of the 469,022 jobless workers in Georgia, the labor department said.
A total of 64,794 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in June — an increase of 11.9 percent from May.
This is the 33rd consecutive month Georgia’s jobless rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.5 percent.
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