Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in July, from 9.9 percent in June, the state labor department said Thursday.
There has been no improvement from a year ago, when the state’s jobless rate was also 10.1 percent.
July marked the 48th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent.
The July increase was due primarily to traditional seasonal layoffs, with about 80 percent of them in state and local education, the labor department said.
Georgia lost 30,200 jobs in July. In addition to 24,500 jobs lost in government and education, business services lost 2,200, while construction lost 1,800. Overall, the number of jobs declined seven-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago.
On the positive side, manufacturing gained 1,400 jobs — the first July increase in manufacturing in 18 years, the labor department said.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler blamed the political environment in Washington for hurting job growth.
“I believe the recent lack of leadership in Washington is a contributing factor to the overall lack of confidence in the economy,” Butler said in a statement. “Due to this lack of confidence, we are seeing a business community which is hesitant to make further investments in this economy.”
The number of long-term unemployed workers — those jobless for at least 27 weeks — increased for the first time in five months to hit 251,100, the labor department said. The number of long-term unemployed remains 9.1 percent higher than a year ago. The long-term unemployed account for 52.9 percent of Georgia’s 474,577 jobless workers.
Also, first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in July rose 4.4 percent from June. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, education, services and construction.
– Henry Unger, The Biz Beat