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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