Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 10.2 percent in December

Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in December, from a revised 10 percent in November, the state labor department said Thursday.

December was the 39th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is 9.4 percent.

“The increase in unemployment and job loss in December is continued evidence that Georgia’s job market is fragile,” new state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, who took office earlier this month, said in a statement. “In the coming months, we will work closely with Georgia’s employers, private and public sector economic developers, and the General Assembly to spur existing business expansion and to attract new industry to our state.”

In December, the number of payroll jobs decreased six-tenths of a percentage point from November, and now totals 3,827,200, the labor department said.

Most of the decline came in construction, leisure and hospitality, the public schools, professional and business services, and wholesale trade. The number of jobs remains two-tenths of a percentage point less than in December 2009.

The state’s long-term unemployment problem keeps getting worse. There were 259,200 Georgians out of work for at least 27 weeks in December — an increase of 2.8 percent from November and a jump of 54 percent from a year ago.

The long-term unemployed now account for 54.1 percent of the 478,833 jobless workers in Georgia. A year ago, it was 34.9 percent.

A total of 75,635 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in December — an increase of 11.7 percent from November. But, that represented a 25 percent drop from December 2009 — the only sliver of good news in Thursday’s report.

Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, construction, and administrative and support services, the labor department said.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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53 comments Add your comment


January 20th, 2011
5:07 am

Everything else has not worked. The only answer is smaller government, which in turn will foster more jobs in the private sector.


January 20th, 2011
5:18 am

Where are the jobs Republicans? I thought you had all the answers and would have things turned around by now. Also I thought the Republicans were against taxes. They control EVERY part of government in the state of GA but we’re still taxed more then any other state I’ve lived in. Get rid of the state income tax if you aren’t all hot air.

[...] Georgia jobless rate up to 10.2 percent [...]


January 20th, 2011
6:19 am

Most employers have outsourced thousands of jobs outside of Georgia and the US. Entry level positions are soon to be non-existent, which is how most individuals get there foot in the door. I do not see a brighter future with the way things are going. Its not like these compaines are in the red, they are just not making the type of profits that they promised their investors; but profits are being made. Look at Apple, then look at how many entry level tech or customer service jobs they have posted within the US. (i.e. the at home-support specialist only make 10 dollars an hour..really, its 2011)


January 20th, 2011
6:20 am

“smaller government”

Yeah let’s keep laying off those teachers and stop the construction of schools and shut down our state parks and tourism attractions. That’s the ticket!

Georgia overwhelmingly voted Republican in the last election. As a result the state will continue to decline.

Elections have consequences.


January 20th, 2011
6:23 am

only 23 months left until we get rid of the source of all our sorrows..
bye bye Barry

Politicians have no clue

January 20th, 2011
6:31 am

Ok, so the unemployment picture in Georgia is worse than other states. Ok, so far too many people are still out of work and more are joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Maybe the Democrats in Washington and the Republicans in Georgia both got it wrong. Obama’s stimulus packaged was weighted down with tax cuts (a large portion going to the wealthy). Georgia’s state Republicans are considering tax changes that will net a similar result. These tax policies are great if you are rich, but cutting taxes doesn’t put people back to work. It didn’t work when Obama and the Dems did it and it will not work when Deal and the Republicans do it in Georgia.

Karl Marx

January 20th, 2011
6:36 am

You guys missed it. Obama gave a state dimmer to where the jobs went last night. China.


January 20th, 2011
6:38 am

We departed from other economists and analysts and predicted that Georgia’s unemployment in December 2010 would probably rise to 10.189 percent. Following this we predict Ga.’s unemployment to rise to 10.245 percent for January if the job market remains the same. (


January 20th, 2011
6:54 am

since when does the president have any autonomy over job creation on a state level ?? GA. is a republican state. GA> has noone to blame but itself. And if you dont make over 250k per year, white or black, i dont see how you can support that party. The smoke scrren is race. Its not about black or white, but about class. The policies that the republicans push drains the middle and lower classes and provides relief for the Uber wealthy. Who’s side are they on anyway ????

Buzz G

January 20th, 2011
7:13 am

You bet. That hope and change has really worked for us. How wonderful it is that we have our first black President who has bailed out the banks, General Motors, AIG, mortgage companies, the labor unions and just about any leftist group who has ever carried water for the Democratic party. And in the doing he has added $4.3 trillion to the national debt and has effectively ruined, not only this economy, but the futures of all our children and grandchildren. Yes we can!

Road Scholar

January 20th, 2011
7:32 am

Yeah, Buzz, he shouldn’t have bailed out those US industries so the recessin could have been worse! Trickle down does not work.


January 20th, 2011
7:38 am

I have a job interview today.


January 20th, 2011
7:41 am

I’m amazed how everyone’s memory is so short sighted. It was BUSH who bailed out the banks with TARP. It is now Obama’s admin that shows that they probably will collect back everything and break even with that program. Also BUSH went from a SURPLUS when he went into office to a DEFICET every one of his 8 years in office. They also raised the national dept ceiling every year as well in that process under BUSH. Calvin Coolidge was the last Republican president to have a surplus during his administration. For those that don’t study your history he was president 1923-1929. Let’s not forget the costs of BUSH putting us into 2 Wars which not only ensured the loss of our future children’s prosperity, but also more importantly the lives of many of our Men/Women. On the social front let’s not forget that he started the expanded drug coverage to Seniors etc, so don’t act on this post as the Republicans didn’t have their hands in this mess as well.


January 20th, 2011
7:48 am

It is obvious that Purdue did not care about job saving or creating.
His only objective was wasting money on his pet projects and making his buddies rich. Why have lawmakers not reduce their salaries before laying off people. Why does Beverly Hall make
almost $400,000 while running a school system that is in danger of losing it’s accreditation?


January 20th, 2011
8:04 am

HAHAHA! I loved the part when Obama told the Chinese that he wants them to buy more stuff from us. Why should they buy it when they can steal it, dupe it, and dump it on the market for a fraction of the price? We are so screwed.

Retied State Employee

January 20th, 2011
8:19 am

Sure those corporations that Deal promised to cut their taxes by one-third will generate millions of jobs for Jawjuns. Just you wait and see. Not! For those who keep blaming Mr. Obama please do your research and you will see the number of times small businesses got tax cuts. You also continue to ignore the fact that 25% of the stimulus was tax cuts for individuals earning less than 250K/year. I know, I know it’s just so much more entertaining to listen to the likes of Beck, Palin, Hannity, Rush, and other talking heads whose goal is to deliver votes for the GOP. Job growth in Georgia recently was tied to housing, and development. That went south and foreclosures are still bleeding. Bank failures in Georgia lead the nation. The script was written way before Mr. Obama took office. There are no instant fixes no matter who occpupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Get over yourselves already.

Unemployed 2

January 20th, 2011
8:24 am

But wait, Obama and the Media say everything is GREAT!

The real unemployment rate is around 20% to 22%! These numbers are the real feel !

Real American

January 20th, 2011
8:27 am

Buzz G: Did you care about the future of your children when George W sent billions of dollars mo to fund two wars.
Oh, I guess you just found new love for your country in the last 2 years, instead of having a debate on creating jobs the idiots you guys voting for in Nov are debating heatlh care something they will never change, once again poor middle class conservatives got used again by rich conservatives.
When will you idiots wake up””

Laughing at the idiots with no memory

January 20th, 2011
8:36 am

Thank you Retired State Employee and Liftguy1234. These people are so dumbfounded when it comes to PRESIDENT Obama and former President Bush. They never want to point out what was the cause of all this downfall. The Republicans and Tea Party idiots are a joke and that is proven everyday by their actions and words. My respect is out the window when it comes to GOP right now.

You all had no voice when the Bush was and his administration were sending us in a down spiral, but now all of a sudden you all want to come out of “hibernation” with no memory of nothing prior to Obama. Give the man a chance just as you all did Bush.

You need to be worried about this fool that you all elected Governor of our state that has his own debt issues. You really think this type of man will help Georgia. If so, you people disgust me with your ignorance. I am sure if Barnes or someone else would have been elected Governor, you would blame the high rise in unemployment on them and they just got into office. I guess it is to much like right, because the idiot Perdue was in office and now you all helped another even bigger idiot into office again.

Laughing at the idiots with no memory

January 20th, 2011
8:42 am

You can say that again Real American. Who are they kidding and it goes to show how many people cannot think for themselves.


January 20th, 2011
8:43 am

I thought that if Obama and Dems passed the stimulus that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8%?


January 20th, 2011
8:44 am

William – “only 23 months left until we get rid of the source of all our sorrows..
bye bye Barry

Buzz – “You bet. That hope and change has really worked for us.”

This is coming from someone who has no love for either side of the aisle, and is not a huge fan of Obama. Having said that, William and Buzz are idiots.

The report said that GEORGIA is at 10.2% unemployment. It has been over 10% for over 2 years. The state has been under Republican control for more than 8 years. The NATIONAL unemployment rate is at 9.4%, almost a full % point below GEORGIA. you can no more blame Obama for the high unemployment in georgia, than you can credit him for low unemployment in North Dakota. Pull your head out of your A$$, and take a look at your STATE reperesentatives and ask them why we are at 10.2%. Morons!

Its over.....

January 20th, 2011
8:46 am

Yep, its time to move to China!!!!!!


January 20th, 2011
8:47 am

Neither Republicans nor Democrats can create jobs, even if they knew how!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The answer is smaller government and lower taxes to ALLOW businesses to create jobs.


January 20th, 2011
9:14 am

I have never believed in “trickle-down economics”, and never will. All those tax breaks that the wealthy get, they will pocket it, rather then using it to put people back to work!


January 20th, 2011
9:18 am

Its time people started to stand up and take the peoples goverment back.we are supposed to control them not other way around.Why are we letting them do this.They act like they work for corportist.But we pay them to work for us the people its the people goverment, so why have we let the corportist take our goverment!Goverment and corporations do not go togather it was not designed this way.We should not have to pay taxes for companies that employees jobs in other countries. This is what we are getting, these companies do not want to open buisness in the united states its cheaper for them to go elsewhere!This is our goverments fault for taking our tax dollars and helping companies.Because they no longer work for u, they work for corporations, they are all abt making money.They could give less than a rats ass abt u.


January 20th, 2011
9:19 am

I think what we are all forgetting is that Atlanta represents only 1/3 of the state. Those down at the Gold Dome do the same, especially those who are from Metro districts. Not knocking anyone, but it’s something we all over look from time to time. Georgia’s economy has historically been based on agriculture & manufacturing. Those two industries for the most part employ low skilled workers, and those are always the first jobs that are the first to be eliminated in a downturn and the last to come back in a recovery. Just a fact of life. The initial claims report that came out this morning noted that Georgia had +8,495 mostly in construction, trade, & manufacturing. If you look at the unemployment duration, like Mr. Unger, I’m concerned with the big divergence between short-term & long-term unemployment. That alone will (and some might argue has) push us more into a political economy, where those at the Gold Dome and in DC will promise us everything under the moon in terms of stimulus, tax cuts, etc. Never a good thing when the economy is run by the politicians.

But I did notice something this morning when I was looking at various employment charts for the state. I saw that government employment in the state is at pre-recession levels and actually ticked up last month. As a side note, employment in government actually grew during the recession and didn’t reach its peak until summer of last year. On the flip side, employment in both construction and manufacturing decreased and remains at their respective lowest levels in 10 years. Now, I say all that not to lay blame at anyone, but just to show where increases and decreases in employment have been.

Someone mentioned the bank failures & that made me think of a conversation I had last night. My thinking behind that is that in Georgia, to get a state charter, a bank only has to come to the table with $3M in capital. Add to that in Georgia we had ever increasing population growth which led to a boom in housing. (I understand the housing boom was a national fad, but still). So therefore, with all these people moving in, and housing construction booming, and with a stupidly low capital requirement to form a state chartered bank, you knew that we’d have a ton of bank failures here in Georgia. And I don’t think it’s over, as there are still 219 local banks in Georgia.

So with all that said, what’s the key to job creation and who will create them? Isn’t that the million dollar question? I don’t know. The simpleton in me says demand, but I have to go along the lines of the small-medium businesses will. Only problem is that the cost of capital to go out & create these jobs is getting more and more expensive and difficult to obtain. I think a recent survey of lenders spoke on this. Well that’s my $0.02. And to the person who has an interview today, whether you were fooling or not, good luck.

Georgia Born Georgia Raised

January 20th, 2011
9:27 am

I’m not surprised at the unemployment rate of Georgia….Think about it, if you were a modern day company would you want to do business in a state control by a bunch of backwoods redneck types that are 50 years behind in times?…I know I wouldn’t!

Randal Patrick McMurphy

January 20th, 2011
9:51 am

“Since government has no resources of its own, and since there’s no Tooth Fairy handing Congress the funds for the programs it enacts, we are forced to recognize that government spending is no less than the confiscation of one person’s property to give it to another to whom it does not belong – in effect, legalized theft.” — Walter Williams

Now back to your own individually scheduled ‘reality’… sheez….

I think

January 20th, 2011
9:52 am

During the depression the richest people in our and other nations invested their money in the only place that was experiencing major growth-NAZI GERMANY. The Bushes and Walkers were right there at the trough with the other hogs. Now the richest in our country are taking their tax cuts and investing in the place with the most growth-COMMUNIST CHINA. We are allowing our elected, supposedly, representatives to set the stage for a global disaster. What do you think that China is doing with all that money. It’s not being ‘trickled down’ to their people. Investment in infrastructure such as roads and bridges is absolutely necessary in the case of conventional warfare. Having an excess of males in the population is a huge advantage. No, I do not trust the Chinese government.


January 20th, 2011
10:02 am

uemployment rate is alot higher in georgia than 10% u have to figure in all the people that have been taken off of unemployment rolls because they have drawn there last checks and still have no jobs.Corporations got plenty of stimulus money to create jobs, but they chose to send the money to their companies in china to create jobs there.I think Americans need to get damn madd abt this paying back stimulus money for jobs in other countries.Corporations should have to pay this back since they did not create jobs in America with their stimulus money.I do not think tax payor should have to pay back all this money corporations get.They are the only one that benefits, they make themselves richer and they have no one to answer to abt the money.They dont acct for this money they dont have to if its other countries.This is all profit,cheaper labor no taxes.Why on earth would they want to employee Americans they would have to pay them at least min wage, by the way this is what they really want.Cheaper wages for people no benefits.Slave style while u pay for it


January 20th, 2011
10:16 am

@ Georgia Born Georgia Raised – I wholeheartedly agree. And the people down here still don’t get it…

But it’s all good. I guess by the time politicians stop being greedy and lining their own pockets and interests, this state and nation will have fallen apart. Might as well start preparing yourself for the new U.S.: a third-world country where nearly 20-25% are unemployed and there are only two classes – rich and poor, and a thin line in between. Ahh yes… brings you right back to the antebellum years of the South. Oh well.

As for me… I’m going to be looking at citizenship in one of those Asian countries and study Mandarin Chinese. At least overseas – I’ll have a job and will be able to support myself economically. You all can have the “new” U.S.


January 20th, 2011
10:21 am

LOL – it’s already the Republican’s fault!? They’ve been in office for a month… typical Democrat thinking (very little).


January 20th, 2011
10:27 am

Unburdened by formal business education or practical experience, the life of liberals is pretty easy.

Simply chant:

1. Bush got us into an illegal war. (Barry O escalated one.)
2. We need to put those evil corporations out of business…
3. It’s all the fault of the Republicans in the Georgia legislature. (What about MI, OH, etc.?)
4. We can educate our way out of an economic downturn by giving teachers raises and building more school buildings. More parks too. Restrooms with heated toilet seats.
5. We must stop buying things from China (so we can pay more for American goods we don’t even produce).
6. All Georgians are ignorant rednecks.
7. The Republicans and Tea Party idiots are a joke.
8. Sarah Palin is a ____________.
9. Barack Obama must be given at least 8 years to turn the economy around. And if that doesn’t work it was still…..Bush’s fault.

Print and save this list and you’ll be a hit with your coterie of fellow “progressives” [cough] at your next Blame Bush get-together.


January 20th, 2011
10:33 am

Interesting observations WM. Could state government employment be going up due to the road construction from the stimulus? I would love to see a breakdown of state and county government hiring.


January 20th, 2011
10:33 am

stop screaming liberal, liberal we all no what it means, look it up if u dont.Christ was the most liberal person that ever lived!

Randal Patrick McMurphy

January 20th, 2011
10:40 am

@RGB – regardless of what the retarded Left-wingers are ‘chanting’ (and some of it I certainly agree with – imagine that), you too can continue to sing the sh*t over and over. Keep on drinking that political Kool-Aid… I’d say you were a Jack-A$$, but a person can’t hear ANYTHING when their noggin is buried so far up their anal cavity… however, every time you open your virtual mouth your A$$ leaks… goodness…


January 20th, 2011
10:46 am

well that’s just great news…i was laid off in mid-october and still looking. thankfully receiving unemployment. why don’t companies hire people to send out emails/phone calls to deny applicants for the positions they applied for? that would help..instead, you get no feedback once so ever. i’ve applied to over 300 + jobs and the interviews i’ve been on have been a waste of time.


January 20th, 2011
11:02 am

Hmm, I didn’t realize Obama was personally offshoring jobs from Georgia since we’re doing much worse than the rest of the country. Maybe our crappy education system, corrupt local gov’ts, inconsistent corporate welfare, and nonexistent banking laws make GA a risky place to do business.

As for all the blame on Obama, we don’t have to go that high up to see why GA taxes aren’t creating jobs. We should just count the # of jobs Go Fish has created in GA. The only jobs Perdue managed to create in GA are ones for himself and his cronies.

What happened to NCR Corp saving us from ourselves? We handed them $100M+ to move their HQ here and the CEO wouldn’t even leave high tax Manhattan to save his job. The company is losing millions and unlikely to generate any real return on the tax breaks we handed them.

Real American

January 20th, 2011
11:06 am

President Obama just struck a deal with China to bring 235,000 US Jobs, This is why he will go down as the greatest President ever.
Now could someone tell me how many jobs has Rep party who have been in charge 8 years brought to this state?
I rest my case””’

EJ Moosa

January 20th, 2011
11:19 am

I don’t care how many jobs the democrats or republicans think they have created or saved. That point is moot.

What I want is for government to stop being an impediment to innovation and businesses in Georgia so that they can do what they are meant to do.

That means that they have the potential to compete and ear profits in such a manner so that they will want to expand their businesses to generate more profits.

Good businesses will succeed, the poor will fail, and we will all be better off.

Bud Flu

January 20th, 2011
11:21 am

I know the idea is getting tossed around, but I’m beginning to agree that we should have a national strike.

Ronald Reagan

January 20th, 2011
11:29 am

There is a total economic disjustice in this nation while Federal Employment and their payrolls continue to expand at record paces, while the private sector continues to suffer. Federal Employees make more than twice the average private sector job, but no one seems to care.

Ronald Reagan

January 20th, 2011
11:29 am

“The problem with government is government.” – Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

January 20th, 2011
11:33 am

We need a Senate willing to cut government in 1/2 and cut salaries 1/3, then those government workers can come out to the private sector and join the rest of us miserable unemployed professionals.

Border Patrol

January 20th, 2011
11:36 am

From 2008 to 2010, 1.1 million new migrants who have entered America since 2008 landed jobs, even as U.S. household employment declined by 6.26 million over that same period.

Are you ready for us to close the borders? Or is it easier to keep pointing the finger of blame in the wrong directions?


January 20th, 2011
11:36 am

Irony being that a lot of government projects are being contracted out to private companies. So all those people wanting to stimulate the private sector, its being done.


January 20th, 2011
12:22 pm

If the intelligence of many of the responses on this board are any indication of Georgia and the US’s workforce, no wonder our economy is in the state it is in. No one owes you a job. No where in the constitution are you guaranteed one. There are so many things wrong with workers attitudes in the U.S. its no wonder it is so easy for our jobs to go elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think NAFTA and other ‘free trade’ agreements have done us any favors because what we have now is not even close to true free trade. Other countries protect their jobs and industries, but for some crazy reason we’re not allowed to do the same. At this point its not a problem with the Republicans, its not a problem with the Democrats, its a problem with our whole d@mn country. If we don’t roll up our sleeves and outwork the international competition, while looking at unfair trade and doing something about, we’re all screwed.

Michael 66

January 20th, 2011
12:37 pm

Look about you at all the imported cars and you can see where the jobs have gone.

There used to be a Ford factory in Atlanta. It has closed. There used to be a GM factory in Atlanta. It has closed. The closure of these two factories caused the direct and indirect of 70,000 Atlantans. We are seeing the result of this in the Atlanta housing market.

The basic rule is if you don’t support your local manufacturers you will find your self without a job.

There are 27 wineries in the state of Georgia. Go into any restaurant in Atlanta and see if there are Georgia wines on the wine list. The short answer is no. The Atlanta restaurants absolutely do not support Georgia wineries.

In Washington state, Oregon and California the restaurants feature local wines, the waiters promote local wines and local wines are displayed in the restaurants. I have never seen this done here in Georgia.

And the jobs are well and truly gone. Eighty per cent of the college graduates of 2008 have not yet found a job. Seventy per cent of the college graduates of 2009 have not yet found a job. Incidently, these jobless college graduates are NOT counted as unemployed in the Government reports of the jobless rate.