Georgia jobless rate drops to lowest level in more than 3 years

Georgia’s unemployment rate fell for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent — the lowest level in more than three years, the state labor department said Thursday.

The jobless rate dropped from 9 percent in March and 9.8 percent from April 2011, the labor department said.

“We now have the lowest unemployment rate, the fewest unemployed workers, and the most jobs in Georgia in more than three years,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “Our job market continues to improve at a modest and steady rate.”

The last time Georgia’s jobless rate was below 9 percent was in February 2009, when it was also 8.9 percent.

There were 423,495 unemployed workers in Georgia in April, the fewest since January 2009.

The rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the labor department said. It was the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January 2009. Job growth is up 0.8 percent from March.

The industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200 new jobs; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700.

While Georgia gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.

Also on the negative side, the percentage of long-term unemployed workers hit a record in April. There were 240,500 Georgians who have been out of work at least 27 weeks. That comprised 56.8 percent of all the unemployed in Georgia, which eclipsed the previous record of 56.4 percent in March 2011.

The number of first-time unemployment insurance claims in Georgia rose by 11.3 percent in April. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, trade, and administrative and support services. While initial claims increased over the month, the number declined by 12.6 percent from April 2011.

The state’s jobless rate still trails the nation, which posted 8.1 percent unemployment in April.

68 comments Add your comment

cathy bennett

May 17th, 2012
6:02 am

This article is a bunch of mess. The jobs that appear on the internet is bogus. The georgia unemployed still have a problem. The employer have hired people in jobs and they keep running the same ads over and over again. The state need to reaffirm members that was getting the state extended benfits their benefits back. People are suffering out here. I have been unemployed since july 2009. My husband has been unemployed since 9/2010 and we have no income. He had 5 months of state extended benefits and they cut it leaving us almost homeless and we were middle class people. Please help us.

redcoat

May 17th, 2012
6:07 am

What are your skills and/or work experience?

redcoat

May 17th, 2012
6:09 am

Your Husband’s?

cash in!!

May 17th, 2012
6:25 am

the unemployment rate is down??? YES!!! That must mean the recession is over and the economy is back to normal!! YES!!! The economic people in DC–genius! Give them a raise and huge bonus!!! Obama—4 more years!!!

Billy

May 17th, 2012
6:39 am

LOL, good cheerleading performance “cash in”–NOT!
The ecomony improved despite PBO’s and the Dim’s efforts, not because of them. Socialists don’t know how the economy works, only the indoctrination against everything good, a world view which is impervious to facts, evidence, etc.
When Romney and the GOP Congress take over, the pent up monies will flow, since the Socialists won’t be in power to confiscate it, and the economy, after 3 years in the tank, will roar to life.
Do you like welfare or having your own job, your own money? You’d be surprised how many would choose the former over the latter…

Yard Man

May 17th, 2012
7:20 am

Billy.. RIGHT ON !!! Cathy Bennett jobs are out there.. maybe not white collar… I mow lawns.. my wife waits tables at Out Back.. we each make over $40 k per year… get a job people !!!!

destin dawg

May 17th, 2012
7:28 am

kids please don’t borrow money to go to college. work/intern and go to community or junior college 1st 2 years.. get a degree in medical/nursing or mechanical/engineering.. NOT social studies or English.. if you want to get a good job !!

Mary A

May 17th, 2012
7:35 am

This report is so full of it!! I have been turned down for more jobs in the past two years or over looked, to experienced, never had experience. I hate the media for all the false reporting and all of you that say get a job…hope you keep yours :-) ..The jobs in the paper are just running ads to keep their HR out of hot water and all those that were unemployed before all this started were never counted and still unemployed..bogus as usual..feel sorry for those of you that believe this!!

native atlantan

May 17th, 2012
7:45 am

Hard to see or understand that this report is really good news, or has any effect yet on the average person. Most copanies have come up with ways to buy less, and do more with less employees. This trend is not going to turn around. Even my working for a long standing Atlanta based company for over 3 decades, my sales are still struggling to be not more than 1/2 of what they should be. The new norm in this country will be to do more with less, which includes materials and workers, but keep in mind the workers doing the job of 2 or 3 previous folks are not making any more income than they were 3 or more years ago, and the outlook for most folks to take home more money from their jobs looks very dim.

maestroesl

May 17th, 2012
7:46 am

This liberal propaganda, and I do not believe this. This does not take into account people who quit filing for unemployment, or the many who have never filed for it, but are still looking for work. On top of that, how many people are reading about the massive layoffs that are about to occur, such as teachers. The economy sucks, and jobs are very hard to find.

Thomas

May 17th, 2012
7:46 am

Subtract the 2000 metro Atlanta Cobb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Rockdale, Clayton ,Dekalb, APS Teaching and custodial jobs lost. Many counties have fired all custodians and outsourced see all the illegals arrrested protesting 5/16? Post office to fire 35,000 but will probably keep them on due to minority protected status. Your tax dollars at work? .. wait no taxes being paid? just let the Obunglers keep printing $ and watch inflation and gas erode your meager earnings in our service economy world here in 3rd world Ga.

Scott

May 17th, 2012
7:52 am

Every month I see a story about the jobless rate dropping in Georgia. Then I see a couple dozen comments that state one of the following: 1) the numbers are wrong because one particular individual is unemployed, 2) the numbers are wrong because they don’t count those who gave up (though they’ve never counted them making the trend in the numbers still valuable) or 3) it’s the president’s fault for not personally finding you a job.

Then I get dressed and drive by a dozen “Now Hiring” signs on my way to work.

June

May 17th, 2012
8:02 am

Would have a lot better chance of getting a job in my neck of the woods if the hispanics were some where else.

And, no, I am not counted in the unemployed #
and neither is my husband
but right now my brother is being counted because he has just been unemployed since about Thanksgiving

zach

May 17th, 2012
8:03 am

Romney will not win. Obama 2012 !!

destin dawg

May 17th, 2012
8:07 am

Scott, help wanted signs are out there, but many don’t want to work if they can collect unemployment… an amazing number of folks know how to work the system.. just enough to stay in a low tax bracket or get gov’t aid, unemployment etc..

destin dawg

May 17th, 2012
8:10 am

zach, jobs are not coming back under Obama.. and the younger folks are hurting the worst

zach

May 17th, 2012
8:23 am

Destin..I don’t think things will get better under Romney either. I do agree with you regarding the youth.

Jeva

May 17th, 2012
8:30 am

The state’s unemployment numbers are down only because the state has cut unemployment benefits, thus leaving millions of unemployed citizens with no other choice but to drop out of the labor department database. The political leaders of Georgia voted and passed House Bill 347, which cut off state funded unemployment benefits after federal benefits expired. Many citizens, including veterans have been affected by this move. The Labor department gave recipients less than a 3 week notice that their benefits would no longer be paid. The citizens who are unemployed did not deserve this nor was it fair. It’s very obvious that media and non profit watch groups, chose not to address or cover these changes. What happen to the states 700 million dollar loan from the federal government? How did this bill become effective in April, when it was supposed to go in effect July? How do our politicians fly around in private charter planes, paid for by the state, but citizens can’t receive 290.00 a week, money they are entitle to receive? How come the federal government hasn’t asked questions regarding the deflated unemployment numbers which change drastically before the state cut benefits?Why were big businesses given unemployment insurance cuts, but the money was taking from the unemployed? Why don’t the AJC do a full report on the Georgia Labor practices? My guess to these questions is, nobody really cares about the plight of unemployed fathers and mothers, raising their children, making their obligations, improving their lives and regaining momentum within their perspective communities.The leaders of this state should be ashame of their actions towards working class people who put these %#%#%#% in office. Many veterans serve and give their life to this country and the state of georgia will not help to support their family if they become unemployed. It’s a tragedy that we live in such a fragmented system that punish and promote unfair treatment of it’s natural citizens.

Slim

May 17th, 2012
8:43 am

To everyone who says they are jobs out there, of course they are, just not enough to go around. Most of the time when people say this they have never lost their job during the recent recession because if they did they would know its EXTREMELY hard to find a job nowadays. With having to compete with hundreds of people fighting for a few open positions, your chances are better hitting the lottery for a few bucks and that’s not likely!

My sister in-law is a hiring manager at a company in Jacksonville, FL and she confirmed that she receives too many resumes for 1 opening and she never bothers to look at half of them. Unfortunately this is a practice at a lot of companies now that’s why you never hear back after submitting resumes.

Don’t wait on a job to call you, do what you got to do to put food on the table, being that it be legal or illegal!

larry

May 17th, 2012
8:47 am

Most of the new jobs that have been created over the last couple of years have been mostly in the metro areas around the state. You go to a lot of rural areas, they are the ones hurting the most. Most small towns have not recovered or are stagnate. I know , here in Northeast Ga. , north of Gainesville, there hasnt been any hiring. The temp agencies, Wal-mart, McD’s, have told people no jobs. I was in Subway Tuesday when a young woman came up asking for an application and she was told that they aren’t hiring. We will see the metro area’s around this state recover long before the rural areas, in fact it is already happening.

maestroesl

May 17th, 2012
8:51 am

Let’s also not forget the Temp jobs that skew these facts, as well!

Jamm

May 17th, 2012
8:51 am

@Scott, if you see those now hiring signs, please help out those that have mentioned on this site that they are looking for jobs and post for them the location since there are sooo many to go around. I am self-employed and drive in my car and don’t see a “lot” of help wanted signs anywhere.

MoBama2012

May 17th, 2012
9:02 am

When the numbers are bad, question Obama….when the numbers are good, question the numbers….really???

Jeff

May 17th, 2012
9:05 am

AJC, do you read these comments – people don’t believe your story. Stop with the liberal articles – a better headline would be, “Job numbers fall, but we don’t feel it.” Then give some helpful tips. People are really hurting out here. By the way folks, fix the housing mess and the economy will spike up. Obama should have done that from the beginning, not health care.

Lara

May 17th, 2012
9:09 am

To Geva: You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT !!! Commissioner Mark Butler should be voted OUT OF OFFICE next go around. These are ALL BOGUS NUMBERS !!!! Further, what Mark Butler our fine legislators did in that bill was horrific – VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT OF OFFICE FOLKS !!! Until Georgians start to do away with these people in office, things will never change. They are power mongers, and yes take money from a source that should not be taken from in their budgets…..

I know for sure, that there are at least 100 + applications out there for every one job opening. So, go blow that horn elsewhere !!!

gee whiz

May 17th, 2012
9:11 am

It’s so funny how these republican tarts actually have the nerve to blame Obama for the economy. Really?! Have you forgotten that YOUR president was the one that got us into this mess? Then you leave the mess for the next prez…then blame him for said mess? You people are really really crazy. (no offense to actual crazy people!)How do you keep lying to yourself and using a problem you created to justify your prejudices. I would much rather you “keep it real” and just state you hate the president for the obvious reason…I would respect you much more.

E-Roll

May 17th, 2012
9:18 am

Can someone please explain to me how this is liberal propanganda when these numbers are coming from the Georgia Department of Labor which is headed by Republician state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler who is quoted the the article above?

Mel

May 17th, 2012
9:26 am

This article is so contradicting in itself that I am laughing. I want to see where these numbers are reported from in just like a general ledger. Where are these jobs at? I have sent my resume out to tons of places and in return getting no hits. Granted, I do not have a high education but do have 20+ years of experience in my field. The only thing good out of this situation is that I have been able to go back to school full time to earn some type of degree. I am on tier 4 and only a few weeks left of that since the number of unemployment has been shortened from 99 weeks. I truly dislike misleading articles as such. Maybe the AJC should publish a story of EVERY unemployed individual in the state of Georgia and their skills. Let’s put names with people who live this story everyday. My last job was in accounting for a Pharmaceutical company that sent their entire department to India so they could save money. Something has got to give and keep these companies here. Hmmm, do politicians have “at will” employed status? We elected them, let’s replace them.

mr mean

May 17th, 2012
9:26 am

..and for the cruel people on here whom are telling the long term unemployed to “get out and get a job”, I really hope this does not happen to your kids or yourself. Looking down your nose at the less fortunate is just cowardly and inhumane. You will feel the sting of unemployment one day…just wait and see!

Obama

May 17th, 2012
9:34 am

Trust me to solve all of America’s problems!

Democratic Plantation Dweller

May 17th, 2012
9:37 am

I hope this does not mean I will forced to get a job. Unemployment, Section 8 housing, welfare payments, unemployment and EBT is working out fine for me.

Lib in Cobb

May 17th, 2012
9:38 am

Thank you President Obama.

catherine

May 17th, 2012
9:51 am

I am 63 and was laid off office job after 26 years. I have applied for all types of jobs. Most do not want to train someone my age.

99 weeks bankrupted us

May 17th, 2012
9:57 am

Paying 99 weeks of unemployment has bankrupted Georgia and 24 other states. We had a surplus in the unemployment fund and are now $1B in debt. Unemployment insurance rates that employers pay were raised for this welfare program so high that companies now can’t afford to hire people. Unemployment used to be 26 weeks max. People are suffering and having a hard time finding jobs but after 26 weeks, the payments should have been shifted to other welfare programs so it didn’t bankrupt the state and businesses making it very difficult to employ people in the future and create the vicious cycle that it is. Like always Obama (yep – this one IS his fault) didn’t think out the full ramifications of his policies. He bankrupted 1/2 the nation by extending unemployment benefits (should have paid it through other programs).

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
9:58 am

Jeva – “What happen to the states 700 million dollar loan from the federal government? ”

It was sucked dry by people staying on unemployment for 99 weeks. If it makes you feel any better, the State just raised the SUTA rate acroiss the board on all exsisting businesses to 2.88. Doesn’t matter that an employer may have had no claims for 5 years, the rate just went up and was retroactive to January 2012. Which means that the employers had to make up the difference. Also, since GA was supposed to pay back the loan from the FEd but didn’t, the FUTA rate was subkect to a credit reduction of 0.03%. What that means is that an employers with a FUTA rate of 0.06% just went to 0.9% retroactive to January of 2011.

Surely you didn’t think that the $750,000,000 was simply free money did you?

Seahawks

May 17th, 2012
10:01 am

I have been offered three jobs so far. There r jobs out there.
Yes I do have a business degree and an extensive background in sales. However there opportunities people need to readjust there focus and training. Stop whining about 20th century jobs that don’t exist.
Find a way to make yourself marketable

Glenda

May 17th, 2012
10:12 am

I agree with the poster above… these numbers are skewed. When 4000-5000 people show up for 200 jobs as they did in the Gainesville area, there is still a problem with the unemployed.

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
10:12 am

Jamm – “if you see those now hiring signs, please help out those that have mentioned on this site that they are looking for jobs and post for them the location since there are sooo many to go around. I am self-employed and drive in my car and don’t see a “lot” of help wanted signs anywhere.”

Take a look at The Cleaning Authority. They have offices all over Atlanta, they do residential cleaning. and the pay runs between $7.25 and $10.00 per hour. The biggest complaint that I hear from the owners is that they can never get good people. They are hiring 24/7. If you are REALLY interested in working, then I suggest you google them and give them a call.

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
10:17 am

Mr. Mean – “You will feel the sting of unemployment one day…just wait and see!”

I already did. My company was merged in December 2008 which suddenly made my position redundant. Picked up with my current company in April 2009. In between, I interviewd at several companies around the country and enjoyed seeing new places before accepting the job back here in Atlanta. If nothing else, get out and interview, you get to travel on the companies dime and meet new and interesting people.

maestroesl

May 17th, 2012
10:26 am

I just love how some are interjecting Obama in this, as I only see them bringing up that name. I guess they never thought people just blame government for the situation this country is in, and that means BOTH parties.

independent voter

May 17th, 2012
10:43 am

Obama just goes around campaigning.. giving speechs.. thats what community organizers do ?? economy is tough, no jobs, high gas prices, home foreclosures, war in Afghanistan, he deflects to gay marriage debate !!

Monroe

May 17th, 2012
10:47 am

It’s taking Obama a long time to clean up all the problems caused by george bush and now the economy is starting to improve. In his second term, Obama will have the economy going strong! Four more years!!!!

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
10:49 am

independent voter – “Obama just goes around campaigning.. giving speechs.. thats what community organizers do ?? economy is tough, no jobs, high gas prices, home foreclosures, war in Afghanistan, he deflects to gay marriage debate !!”

And yet despite all that, he is more than likely to get re-elected thanks to the awesome Electoral College. http://electoral-vote.com/

destin dawg

May 17th, 2012
10:51 am

Obama is holding up the Keystone pipeline project.. nat. gas for Trucks and buses is our way to energy independence.. he is owned by Big Labor Unions who delayed the new Boeing plant in S.C. ( good jobs )..

Jeva

May 17th, 2012
10:58 am

Thank you Flecth
As per the Georgia Labor Department the suta(state unemployment taxes) rates for businesses within the state remain at 2.70. You’re right regarding futa (federal unemployment taxes)
Free money is not in question, this president has been clear that the only free entitlement he intends to support is healthcare. The decision to cut unemployment benefits in the midst of the worst economical environment this state has experience was flawed and unjustified, considering how the state allocates funding for wasteful projects and political support. This was clearly done to improve the status of this division and gain political clout for a newly appointed state official.

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
10:58 am

destin dawg – “Obama is holding up the Keystone pipeline project.. nat. gas for Trucks and buses is our way to energy independence.”

I agree that we need more Natural Gas. However, how do you see the Keystone Pipeline having any affect on that since it’s purpose is to transport oil from the Canadian fields to the refineries on the Gulf Coast to be sold on the World Market?

Jeva

May 17th, 2012
11:00 am

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
11:03 am

Jeva – “As per the Georgia Labor Department the suta(state unemployment taxes) rates for businesses within the state remain at 2.70.”

I wish that was the case. For all “new businesses” or businesses that have less than 3 years in operation, the rate will remain at 2.70. However, for all established or existing businesses that have more than3 years in operation the SUTA was bumped to a minimum 2.88 retroactive to January 2012.

destin dawg

May 17th, 2012
11:05 am

Fletch… sorry tangled up statement.. Obama’s green crowd ( EPA )is holding up Nat. Gas production.. nothing to do with Keystone which is all about Jobs.. the subject of this Blog !!

Fletch

May 17th, 2012
11:13 am

destin dawg – “nothing to do with Keystone which is all about Jobs.. the subject of this Blog !!”

Yeah, jobs in Georgia. The Keystone runs through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc… The projected track takes it through the states with some of the lowest unemployment numbers in the country. Hell, go to Williston ND, The McDonalds there pays $25.00 an hour for counter help, and most people working in the Bakkan Fields are living in campers and RV’s parked at Wal Mart. Not saying that I’m against job creation, but there seems to be plenty to go around in the Mid West, and Georgia wouldn’t get a taste anyway.