4:43 am August 26, 2010, by Henry Unger
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 10.2 percent in July, from 10.3 percent in June, the state labor department said Thursday.
Still, Atlanta’s jobless rate — back to where it was in July 2009 — exceeds the 9.9 percent level in Georgia and the 9.5 percent rate nationally.
The number of unemployed workers in the metro area decreased to 271,118 — down 950 from June, the labor department said.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in July dropped 6.8 percent from June.
But the number of payroll jobs in metro Atlanta fell by 11,400 to total 2,254,400 in July.
The slight drop in the jobless rate was likely driven, in part, by discouraged workers who have given up their job search and are no longer counted as unemployed.
Last week, the labor department attributed the decline in the state’s jobless rate to a shrinking labor force caused primarily by discouraged workers giving up their search.
Statewide, one out of two jobless workers has been unemployed for at least 27 weeks.
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