Georgia jobless rate hits highest level in 6 months

Georgia’s unemployment rate hit its highest level in six months, rising to 10.2 percent in August from 10.1 percent in July, the state labor department said Thursday.

There has been no improvement from a year ago, when the state’s jobless rate was also 10.2 percent.

August marked the 49th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, the labor department said.

The August unemployment rate increased because 5,500 new job seekers — as well as more of those already unemployed — were unable to find work.

The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for at least 27 weeks — increased by 3,000 to 254,100. There were 15.5 percent more long-term unemployed than in August of last year. The long-term unemployed account for 52.7 percent of Georgia’s 482,321 jobless workers.

On the positive side, the number of jobs in Georgia increased 0.2 percent to 3,801,000 in August, the labor department said. Most of the gain came from seasonal workers in the public school systems who returned to work after being laid-off for the summer. Also, some job increases occurred in professional and business services, education, health care and construction.

While Georgia had a net increase in jobs, there was a decrease in jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry, especially in accommodations and food services, as well as in wholesale and retail trade, the labor department said.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in August decreased 8.3 percent from July to 56,476. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, administrative and support services, trade, and construction. There was a 19.6 percent decline in initial claims from August of last year.

– Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

97 comments Add your comment

Obama LeClown

September 15th, 2011
6:04 am

Unemployment will remain high because of the Commie in the white House has created uncertainty…pending higher taxes, too many regualtions, Obamacare..he scares people and until he is gone- jobs will be scarce.

Give me a break

September 15th, 2011
6:16 am

Why is it that Georgia’s unemployment rate is higher than other states? This is not a national issue but a state issue. The Republicans keep Georgia unemployment rate high so they can elect another George Bush for president. Even though money has been granted road construction on Hwy 20 in Cherokee County has stopped four months ago. Republicans rather see high unemployment rates than to put Georgians back to work completing funded road construction projects.

Jerry Wheeler

September 15th, 2011
6:22 am

LeClown, you are an idiot.


September 15th, 2011
6:47 am

Uh, if we had a communist in the WH then everyone would be working… just not able to pick where or for who. Unemployment would be very low though! Time to hold up the mirror and say Georgia’s unemployment is a Georgia problem so Georgia needs to fix it. Stop complaining and get to it Republicans!


September 15th, 2011
7:01 am

The unemployment rate will stay high. This seems to me a perfect example of Georgia’s chickens coming home to roost. We have lived for years with the news constantly reporting how poorly we were faring in education (graduation rates, standardized testing, SAT, etc.). I’d wager that most of us can look at our own families, friends and neighbors and see plenty of folks who aren’t particularly well-educated, skilled or trained in anything marketable. So here we are in a new economic reality where the number of jobs available to the unskilled worker continues to go down, while the number of unskilled workers continues to go up. Or the jobs available to the unskilled become so unpalatable that no one wants to do them except the immigrants (think the agricultural worker shortage earlier this year in south Georgia).

We can do another round of “stimulus” and maybe build a bridge or pave a couple of roads, but at some point the government will have to stop spending all that money, and then what happens to those folks who will likely still be unskilled? The economy isn’t going to go back to a time when just being a warm body who can do repetitive tasks is enough to get a job. The government can pour more money into job training (with questionable outcomes…, but many people will have to first realize that they are unemployable and then take responsibility for their own situation and leverage all resources available to better it. And the education system needs to be taken to task–not neccesarily just the teachers, but the whole system from the top down. We spend more and more every year, and I’m not sure sometimes what we’re getting for our money.

Loyal Democrat

September 15th, 2011
7:04 am

It’s the President’s fault. Wait, what? Bush isn’t president anymore? Oh, well it’s the Republican’s fault. Let’s see, yeah, the Republican’s in Georgia. Wait, other states with high unemployment have Democratic leadership? Say it ain’t so! We all know it’s always the Republicans fault. No matter the problem, no matter the issue, no matter the reason.

Republicans are always to blame. It says so right here in Rahm Emanuel’s handbook.

Mark in ATL

September 15th, 2011
7:05 am

Ohdumbo days are coming to an end….

John C.

September 15th, 2011
7:28 am

Yup. Can’t blame Bush anymore…And is this the “change that we can believe in”?

Road Scholar

September 15th, 2011
7:33 am

Alright all you geniuses out there, you don’t like President Obama’s job program? Where is the Repubs plan?Where is your plan? What does it contain? More business tax cuts? THAT HAS NOT WORKED IF YOU CARE TO NOTICE! Where is your education plan?

Crickets chirping….

[...] is at a six-month high: Georgia’s unemployment rate hit its highest level in six months, rising to 10.2 percent in [...]

Road Scholar

September 15th, 2011
7:46 am

Welcome back Henry!

Politics is local.....

September 15th, 2011
7:52 am

Hmmmm, interesting how no one is blaming the GOVERNOR of Georgia……..this Obama bashing is getting old.

Jeff in GA

September 15th, 2011
8:03 am

We need to take ahard look at ourselves before we start blaming others. American workers have priced themselves out of jobs. Big companies exist for one reason, to make money. Since labor is the majority of a companies expenses the cheaper the labor the more money the company makes. This is why companies have moved to China and other country’s where labor is a fraction of what the US worker demands. Some of this is the labor unions faults, but not all. Think about it. Why should we pay a worker $35 a hour (just a arbitrary amount) to bolt a door on a car (whcich requires very little education and training) when a worker in Mexico or China will do it for 50 cents an hour. We have people in this country who drop out of high school, and then wnat a job paying that high wage. It is not going to happen. If they finished high school, got at least some college education, then they could expect to get a little better job.

Yes, the job market is tight right now, but there are jobs out there. We just have to get off our lazy butts and go do a job that may not be what we want to do. I know. I am one of those who got tired of school and took the “easy” way out. I ended up working three part time jobs and went back to college to make a better life for myself. Other people can do it also.

Basically, we want to get blue collar jobs back in this country we need to accept that these jobs pay blue collar wages. Quit griping about immigrants coming here and taking our jobs. They are taking jobs that us “Americans” feel are beneath our selves to do. If there were no jobs they would not be coming here.

Other countries used to idolize the American way of life and admire the American worker. Not any more. We are scorned. Our factories lie in rust and the workers sit on their butts collecting welfare and whining they cannot find a job when it is their own fault. Accept a little responsibility for being part of the problem, get up and become part of the solution. The crooked “lawmakers” in Washington do not have your best interests at heart. They will only do what it takes to get re-elected. They are all in the pockets of the lobbyists.


September 15th, 2011
8:04 am

I blame it on the rap music.

Politics is local.....

September 15th, 2011
8:06 am

@ “Jeff in Georgia”………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Let's Be Reasonable

September 15th, 2011
8:09 am

Georgia ranked fourth nationally in foreclosure rates during August, according to the tracking firm RealtyTrac

That’s the problem, and there is no quick fix nor easy solution regardless the POTUS or party in power. We know where the blame lies, but the POTUS is an easy target to bash because we somehow think he can just dictate our troubles away. The money changers got us into this mess. They got bailed out and continue to reap mind boggling profits. We aint seen nothing yet. The kettle’s boiling in Europe. Remember when our troubles began bubbling to the surface in 08 and Phil Graham said we were whiners? Roughly 50% of us want to return to the philosophy of unleash Wall St. and get government out of the way. Why?

No Scholar

September 15th, 2011
8:11 am

LeCown gave you the main reasons companies are not hiring; pending higher taxes, too many regualtions, Obamacare. Our company is small with 14 employees, but very stable and could probably use another person. However, because of the reasons listed….we are anxious and cautious about adding anyone else because we are waiting to see what happens. This “waiting” is happening across the country.

The Republican plan of lower taxes, less regualtion and no Obamacare would ease the burden or potential burden on businesses and we’d all proceed with trying to grow.

Art Thomas

September 15th, 2011
8:12 am

1 Massive infusion into state of illegal aliens 450m at last count number 6 in nation

2.Homebuilding industry collapsed 300,000 jobs gone in last 3 years

3.Education ranked in bottom 3 or 4 states in America (see articles about the disgrace of Atlanta
Public Education

4.Home values down 30- 60% in most counties. Many counties governments still holding by raise
taxes on slashed property values. People walking away from whole neighborhoods statewide will
continue to escalate.

5.Corporations cutting Coca Cola/ Home Depot/ Delta but hiring in China .See recent AJC Article of
Poctor and Gambe. Merck , Caterpillar ,Walt Disney and Coca Cola: 105,000 jobs created in New Master Land CHINA in last 18 months but In USA 3,000. Quote of Coca Cola Executive “We make 80% of our $ in other countires , We just happen to be Headquarterd and located in Atlanta”

6. Ga ranked as 6th poorest state in nation with 1 in 5 living in poverty as defined by US govt.

All trends above continue to the negative side

7. Atlanta needs new image. Suggest Bring our men and Women back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Help them settle in Ga with the high military skills they learned and then provide work centers and training to develop usage of military skill into productive and educated peaceful operations such as new technologies for food industry ,green building, solar power.

The US government has failed our country miserably with trillions in unpayable debt and incompentent leadership in both parties. Action now will help heal wounds of prolific and unsustainable spending that had devasted so many.

Buzz G

September 15th, 2011
8:12 am

Obama is trying to stop Boeing from opening a new plant in South Carolina. While doing this he is touting a “jobs” bill that allows employers to stop contributing to Social Security when Social Security is already stressed out. He couldn’t screw up worse if he tried. Wait. Maybe he is trying.

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
8:12 am

Jeff in GA – ” Since labor is the majority of a companies expenses the cheaper the labor the more money the company makes.”

Forget it Jeff, most of the minions in this state still believe that reducing the tax rate that companies don’t even pay will bring jobs back en masse. Apparently no one is hiring because the mythical tax margins are so unreasonable. I’m sure that as soon as the taxes are lowered, companies will gladly stop paying Chin Lee $1.00 a day for making products just so they can run back to the U.S. and pay John Doe $12.00 an hour for the same job.

Road Scholar

September 15th, 2011
8:14 am

Jeff : Good post! Exactly!

Politics: So genius, what is your jobs plan? The job of criticizing others doesn’t pay a wage, esp at your level.

Let’s: I agree, but let’s move forward…how to WE succeed? At least Georgia is good at something other than bank failures! And having low SAT scores.

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
8:15 am

No Scholar – ” pending higher taxes, too many regualtions, Obamacare. Our company is small with 14 employees,”

Feel free to hire the, since the conditions of ObamaCare would require you to have 50 employees before the mandates kick in. Oh, and the taxes your so afraid of, don’t hit until AFTER you make $250,000. So stop being so afraid, there’s risk in everything, or don’t they teach that in the MBA programs anymore?


September 15th, 2011
8:16 am

Unemployment will remain high because this great state has been totally hijacked by Repubs for too long, that’s why other states are way better than Georgia?

Road Scholar

September 15th, 2011
8:18 am

No Scholar: “… could probably use another person.”

Do you have the demand and the need to hire that person? Isn’t business a risk? Based on net sales and market share? Oh the uncertainty! Oh the excuses!

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
8:21 am

Road Scholar – “Oh the uncertainty! Oh the excuses!”

Well said! I’m not a fan of Obama, but it astounds me how so many people can be so obtuse.


September 15th, 2011
8:23 am

During the last Presidential election I worked in the Auburn Street area in Atlanta. I would ask people why they were voting for Obama. The overwhemling response was “With Obama we won’t have to work. He will take care of us.” Looks like that is what is happening.

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
8:25 am

Trevor – “During the last Presidential election I worked in the Auburn Street area in Atlanta. I would ask people why they were voting for Obama. The overwhemling response was “With Obama we won’t have to work. He will take care of us.” Looks like that is what is happening.”

Trevor fails to mention that the majority of the people in the Auburn Street area are already jobless and homeless. So basically nothing changed when Obama took office.


September 15th, 2011
8:28 am

Georgia would always be at the bottom in unemployment because we elect a bunch of morons who run banks in the ground by borrowing more money than they could afford to pay back, and then we elect them as chairman’s of banking committees. So yes Georgia needs to elect politicians that can fix our problems. Politics is local


September 15th, 2011
8:32 am

If 10% of people are unemployed then 90% are employed. The problem is that we are a consumer based economy, and the 90% that are employed are paying down debt, saving, spending more of their disposable income on gas and groceries, and helping out relatives that are unemployed. They aren’t buying loads of cheap crap at the rate they used to, and they sure aren’t buying homes. There is no jobs plan that is going to change that dynamic. We are in a long cycle of stagnant growth and anyone that thinks that a change in Washington is going to break the cycle is delusional.

The only way I can see the cycle ending is to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. American companies claim that they are investing in Asia because that is where their consumers are located. They created a consumer class when they initially moved manufacturing to Asia. The engine is fueling itself. Change the tax code so that all corporations pay at the same rate and eliminate the loopholes. That might help.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

September 15th, 2011
8:40 am

“On the positive side,…” Spin it any way you like.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

And, someone’s idea that Georgia unemployment is high due to Republican’s desire to put another “Bush” in office, is ludicrous. So, I as a Conservative, am willingly unemployed for the last two years to help the GOP attain a political goal is pure BS.

Since 9/11, our economy has been limping along, at best. Factor in globalization, corporate and governmental leadership’s inability to respond effectively to it and the regulatory uncertainty associated with this administration (NLRB, Justice Department, unions, etc); and you have the making of a perfect storm.

And, don’t hand me any of that two unnecessary wars garbage. While Afghanistan and Iraq could have been handled differently, we were involved in Vietnam officially from ‘65 to ‘75. Unofficially since ‘54. That 21 year period spanned four administrations, both Democrat and Republican; and our economy kept chugging along.

The issue here is the United States inability to respond effectively to globalization, compounded by the distraction of dealing with terror threats of a magnitude heretofore only imagined in works of fiction. The current administration (buoyed by Congress) came in with a highly charged Left-Wing, liberal social agenda, when it should have been focused elsewhere.


September 15th, 2011
8:44 am

@ Jimbo you hit it on the nail man! So true!!

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
8:49 am

H Yum Yum – “The issue here is the United States inability to respond effectively to globalization,”

Exactly. The emerging markets where companies have relocated the jobs is akin to the U.S. 60 years ago. Basically the products are made at a labor cost in line with the cost of living in those countries, so there is a huge demand. In the 50’s and 60’s you had single earner households, and $30,000 a year was like making $200,000 in todays dollars due to the low cost of goods and products. As our standard of living went up, so did the demand for higher wages and so forth to the point that we need to have two income earners just to keep up. Companies get the best of both worlds now. They have a cheap, expendable labor force to make the products that both the U.S. and the emerging markets will buy. Unless you tackle the cost of labor, all the reduction in taxes and regulations aren’t going to make a difference. An American worker cannot live in this country on the same wages that are paid to the workers overseas. When I.T in India can be had for 15k a year and manufacturing labor in the Phillipines can be had for a dollar a day, there is no incentive at all to move any of those jobs back to the U.S.

Real Person

September 15th, 2011
8:53 am

I owned a technology company with 22 employees with sales over 4.5 million in 2000, made $100,000.00 for several years but was never to draw unemployment because I owned a company, and next week – get this – in order to support my family….. I am taking a minimum wage job in a grocery store stocking shelves because there is no one hiring anywhere!!!…

Yes, I am blaming the current political environment for many issues and the closing of my business. Banks would not loan because of “regulations and qualifications” even though we had paid ever bill on time for over 15 year – again without fail – therefore we could not do support installations or buy inventory for the sales we produced. 22 people lost their jobs and that folks is the root of the issues.

Now, this is reality!

Bob Decker

September 15th, 2011
8:58 am

Answer to Unemployment is simple!!!!!! As long as gas remains over 3.00 a gallon unemployment will be near 10% forever. Companies laid off 10% of their work force to accommodate the increase in their companies expenses that included fuel charges for everything from shipping to delivering. END OF STORY.


September 15th, 2011
9:01 am

Butch, I think that you make a valid point with respect to the cost of labor. I do take exception to your statement concerning incentives to moving jobs back to the US. There are trade offs in doing business in Asia. There are time zone differences, cultural differences, language barriers, political instability, unreliable infrastructure in terms of power and water, the cost of transporting goods across the hemispheres, the cost of training Asian employees, and the cost of sending American execs to Asia to fight fires and manage the managers. At some point American companies weighed their options, did the math and went to Asia. We need to re-balance the equation.

Free Enterprise

September 15th, 2011
9:03 am

In these times we all have to stop thinking about the traditional ways of making money because those times are long gone and this is the new America!

As for the state of Georgia, I was born and raised here so I know Georgia has ALWAYS been a state that has been 50 years behind the times that is control by super old men

My solution to this problem: Add new industries and give people a chance to make a living independently of government and corporate interference. Industries like LEGAL PROSTITUTION AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

Butch Cassidy

September 15th, 2011
9:06 am

Homer – “At some point American companies weighed their options, did the math and went to Asia. We need to re-balance the equation.”


Bob Decker

September 15th, 2011
9:14 am

Answer to Unemployment is simple!!!! As long as gas remains over 3.00 a gallon unemployment will be near 10% forever. Companies laid off 10% of their work force to accommodate the increase in their companies expenses that included fuel charges for everything from shipping to delivering. END OF STORY.


September 15th, 2011
9:19 am

Unemployment up, ironically, revenues have been consistently up at least since last March…now what’s up with that??


September 15th, 2011
9:23 am

Enter your comments here


September 15th, 2011
9:31 am

I believe gas price is the biggest hurdle for the economy, which in turn makes everything more costly in the past 5 years. My credit card bill is almost doubled in the past 5 years. When I did a comparison, gas and food costs are way much higher than before. Despite my considerable wage increase, I am still penny-less in the bank.


September 15th, 2011
9:39 am

Another problem is the housing crises. Due to the extreme number of foreclosures, banks aren’t making as much money, the state is losing out on revenue, and people just feel poorer so less consumption is taken place. The housing crisis needs to be fixed. And please people, stop just blaming political parties. Neither party has done a stand up job lately. All the bickering and posturing going on nowadays is damn near embarrassing.


September 15th, 2011
9:42 am

Instead of poor cheap laborers in Asia, what about oil producing countries in Middle East and Russia? I don’t have a number, but how much more American dollars have flown to those countries in the past 10 years than before?

Crude price went from $20 a barrel to today’s $100. The crude price is a man-made, artificial price, not a free-market price. Since it’s man-made, why aren’t there any politicians convey some serious messages to the those oil countries?

Elliot Garcia

September 15th, 2011
9:44 am

Exactly what has Obama done to create jobs? Tell me why your savior is so great???


September 15th, 2011
9:49 am

The best way to jump start our economy would be drop the crude price. Cut a deal with Saudi Arabia, give us $40 a barrel of oil, we will compensate them with other means. Believe me, it will do magic.

The government can do lots of things in this front. For example, Iraqi has oil but remain poor because they cannot get it out in the market. Is there anything the US government can do there? I think so.


September 15th, 2011
9:51 am

Elliot Garcia,

government doesn’t create jobs. You should know that if you are a Republicans because it’s written in the Republican handbook.

Glenn Rice

September 15th, 2011
9:56 am

I will never be out of work for the rest of my life. :) Tell Sarah Palin I love her. :)

New hope And Change Needed

September 15th, 2011
10:02 am

I mena seriously…how dumb were people to think Obozo would do anything other then spend money and let his wife travel the world?


September 15th, 2011
10:10 am

It’s so trivial how all of these smart and articulate folks are acting as if ONE MAN (Obama) is the bearer of all ills for this country right now. Obama does not control whether a company hires folks or not. Using his proposed policies, which more than half are blocked anyway, as an excuse not to hire folks is pure bullcrap. As a 20-year veteran I voted for him in ‘08 but I won’t be voting for him again because he didn’t keep his word about bringing the troops home when he said he would.


September 15th, 2011
10:14 am

None of the Obama apologists are acknowledging the nationwide number of people filing for unemployment went up far greater than anticipated. So should we start blaming all 50 governors?

The cost of labor and production in America is much higher than most nations. I could build 5 plants and hire workers at those plants in a Third World country cheaper than one plant here in the states. With more products I could reach more markets around the world. It would not help jobs here in America but it helps me make a profit. Thank regulations, unions, Obamacare, etc. for raising the costs here in the US and thus chasing businesses out of the country.