Georgia’s unemployment rate stood unchanged at 9.9 percent in October, marking the 37th consecutive month that the state’s rate exceeded the nation’s, the state labor department said Thursday.
The good news: The number of payroll jobs increased six-tenths of a percentage point to 3,837,700 in October, the labor department said. The increase was three-tenths of a percentage point in metro Atlanta. Most of the increases came in retail trade, temporary employment agencies, public and private schools, and health care.
But the persistent problem of long-term unemployment — those out of work for at least 27 weeks — got worse in October. There were 240,600 long-term jobless — an increase of 1.7 percent from September and 63 percent from a year ago.
The long-term unemployed account for more than half — 52.4 percent — of the 459,098 jobless workers in Georgia, the labor department said. That’s up from 30.7 percent a year ago.
A total of 57,494 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in October — an increase of six-tenths of a percentage point from September. But that represented an 18.6 percent decline from a year ago.
Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, administrative and support services, and construction.
In reporting the data, the labor department said September’s preliminary jobless rate was revised downward to 9.9 percent from 10 percent. There has not been much improvement from a year ago, when the rate was 10.2 percent.
The national rate currently stands at 9.6 percent.
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.