Georgia jobless rate remains unchanged at 9.8 percent in May

Georgia’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8 percent from April to May, the state labor department said Thursday. The April rate has been revised from a preliminary 9.9 percent.

The state’s jobless rate was 10 percent in May 2010.

This May marked the 46th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, the state labor department said.

“Our state’s jobless rate has been declining slightly for the past six months,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “More businesses are slowly beginning to expand their workforce, illustrating a gradual increase of confidence in the economy.”

The number of payroll jobs increased slightly from April to May — 0.1 percent — to 3,834,500, the labor department said. Most of the new jobs were in leisure and hospitality, with smaller increases in retail trade, health care, manufacturing and construction.

But, there were 28,300 — 0.7 percent — fewer jobs than in May of last year. Most of the lost jobs over the year were in government, construction and financial services, the labor department said.

For the third consecutive month, the number of long-term unemployed workers declined slightly. There were 251,800 Georgians who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks in May — down 1.2 percent from April. But, the number of long-term unemployed remained 11.6 percent higher than in May of last year.

The long-term unemployed still account for a majority — 54.7 percent — of Georgia’s 460,172 jobless workers.

A total of 54,843 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in May — an increase of 0.9 percent from April. Most of the first-time claims were filed in trade, manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

But, there was an over-the-year decrease in initial claims of 5.3 percent.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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20 comments Add your comment


June 16th, 2011
5:51 am

Still 100% here.


June 16th, 2011
6:00 am

REAL unemployment continues to be around 17 percent when you consider factors previously mentioned in this blog. Businesses may be starting to expand, but they are still extremely cautious, and far from the 300,000-plus jobs we need to create in this country monthly just to break even with population growth. Businesses will continue to stay hunkered down for some time to come until they can fully see the consequences of current public policy issues that have yet to kick in. Still real pain for many people. Recovery Summer is alive and well. You can’t spend your way out of a bad economy; we’ve seen that with the stimulus. Real job growth will happen when the market is allowed to do what the market does best. Until that happens, it is still a long road to recovery.


June 16th, 2011
7:13 am

what bull phony numbers

Buzz G

June 16th, 2011
7:27 am

“A lie, repeated often enough, becomes the truth.”

No it doesn’t. Henry can repeat it as often as he wishes, but the truth is much uglier.
The government lies so much on their statistics, especially unemployment stats, that an organization has sprung up to publish true stats on their website. That web site is
If you want to know what true unemployment is, or true inflation is, these people have done a good job tracking.

Road Scholar

June 16th, 2011
7:32 am

But, but, but…the tax braks for businesses were suppose to solve everything? Oh, the uncertainty…


June 16th, 2011
7:47 am

People should never forget that real health depends how well you take care of yourself and not what health insurance you carry but I agree health insurance is important for every one. Search “Penny Health Insurance” or online for dollar a day insurance plans.

native atlantan

June 16th, 2011
7:56 am

With less employees, many businesses have found ways to do without many products they freqently bought in the past. The consumer cannot turn this economy around by themselfes. I’ve had the same commission only job for many years butIi too am tired of making half of what I use to make. Some days it’s hard to be grateful that I have a job, esp with my employer always watching me from a computer.


June 16th, 2011
8:09 am

This is a CROCK and I am so sick of turning on the television and hearing that no one wants to work, REALLY sent many resumes out for new jobs and called four times to one location to let them know that we would be in the area, four hours away from our home to pick up a car to have for work and could not even get a call back to come by and fill out an application or even see if someone would see me. Also, drove by the place and it was DEAD..really posting jobs but have NO traffic or the common sense to call someone back or email them?? This whole world is a JOKE!!! And, NO we don’t want to live off the government!!


June 16th, 2011
8:21 am

Didn’t I read yesterday that there were 11,000 job openings in Georgia Agriculture??


June 16th, 2011
8:28 am

Buy some of that new government improved sunscreen and head south. Agribusiness says if you don’t pick their crops we’re all going to die.


June 16th, 2011
9:05 am

Still having a hard time with this whole unemployment vs agriculture openings. I remember my granfather telling me during the depression how happy he was to get a job with the WPA in Montana. At that time he made all of 60 cents an hour for 10 hours a day 6 days a week.

Of course, back in those days NO job was beneath ANYONE. But then again he didn’t have the option of 99 weeks of unemployment to count on. while I agree that UI benefits are not a fortune, I am equally aware of the difference in todays unemployed population and ethics as compared to my grandparents and parents generation.


Joe Biden

June 16th, 2011
9:08 am

Don’t tell Jay Bookman or Cynthia about this. They still believe all of the crap I am feeding them.

President Barack Obama

June 16th, 2011
9:10 am

I guess some of the “shovel ready projects were not so shovel ready.” :)


June 16th, 2011
9:21 am

Funny cause based off Geogia and Alabama’s new law on immigrants, you would think that their unemployment rate is way down and a nice place t olive. Although I am one of those smart people and know better, I knew already it is one of the worst!!! Both states, still confused why they woul make laws like that when both have nothing to go to.


June 16th, 2011
9:22 am

1. Government goes by unemployment office stats which only show those who are eligible to receive benefits. Once you reach your quota you are off the grid because you no longer certify each week.
2. Those who were self employed and no longer able to get full time work are not counted also because most did not pay unemployment tax so they are unable to certify to receive any unemployment compensation. These are people who had small businesses; i.e., gutters, trees, pressure washing, etc.
3. Many companies have encouraged their long term employees to take early retirement. These numbers are not counted either. These people would not have retired if their job position had been stable.
4. Government says the number of payroll jobs have increased. Help me here, how is that possible when Lockheed Martin is laying off over 1200 employees and government has laid off hundreds here in GA just recently. Just going about town you see companies that have been around forever going out of business – more unemployment.
5. As far as the agriculture needs in South GA, a lot of us who remain unemployed are the over 50 crowd. Unfortunately age is against us when it comes to hard manual labor in the heat. Others might not have the means to move their family south as they have been unemployed for years. The farmers also need to raise the rate of pay so people who come to work there are really able to make a living. But to those who are young, able and unemployed, we parents have spoiled you and most think they are better than working in a field and would rather live off mom and dad. Remember people, this is how our country was founded; by hard manual labor.

Rational Citizen

June 16th, 2011
9:29 am

Is Mark Butler delusional? How do these figures show a “gradual increase of confidence in the economy”? I’m sure Gov. Deal and the Republicans will use this as an excuse to cut taxes.

A M Fine

June 16th, 2011
3:36 pm

No really accurate unemployment stats can be gleaned when public-sector jobs are factored in. True unemployment exists in the private sector alone. The Administration’s idea of stimulus spending is to feed public sector jobs. So much for growing real jobs!


June 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

The 9.8% unemployment is totally a misleading number, but it is far
greater. While more factory and shopping centers are being closed,
how anybody can say that the unemployment remains the same for the
last 46th consecutive months?


June 16th, 2011
4:51 pm

Once the extended unemployment benefits for non-workers begin to play out you’ll see a surge in people going back to work. It is a time honored tradition.

Many unemployed people are making a sincere conscientious effort to find work. But plenty of others are perfectly content to sit @ home long as the weekly welfare check shows up.

native atlantan

June 18th, 2011
7:16 pm

This blog is toast