Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in June from a revised 9.8 percent in May, the state labor department said Thursday.
The state’s jobless rate has barely improved from a year ago, when it was 10 percent.
“The unemployment rate inched up slightly because of normal seasonal factors, primarily involving the end of the school year,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “Non-contract school workers, such as bus drivers, lunchroom and janitorial workers, are usually laid-off during the summer school break. Also, new graduates began searching for jobs and are counted as unemployed while doing so.”
The loss of 12,400 seasonal jobs in state and local public school systems accounted for the bulk of the 14,600 payroll jobs lost throughout the state, the labor department said. There were 3,818,600 jobs in June — down four-tenths of a percentage point from May.
On the positive side, there were increases of 2,900 construction jobs and 2,400 in the service industries, the labor department said.
While still very high, the number of long-term unemployed workers declined for the fourth consecutive month. There were 250,500 Georgians out of work for at least 27 weeks — down five-tenths of a percentage point from May. But, the number of long-term unemployed remains 8.9 percent higher than in June of last year.
The long-term unemployed now account for 53.6 percent of Georgia’s 467,454 jobless workers, the labor department said.
Also, the recent trend of an increase in first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits continued in June. There were 58,981 initial claims — up 7.5 percent from May.
Most of the first-time claims were in manufacturing and business services, which includes temporary employment agencies.
On the positive side, there was a decline in initial claims of 9 percent from June of last year.
June marked the 47th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.2 percent.
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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