4:54 am June 14, 2012, by Henry Unger
Georgia’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.9 percent from April to May — the first time in 10 months that the jobless rate failed to decline, the state labor department said Thursday.
A year ago, the jobless rate was 9.8 percent.
The state added 16,400 new jobs in May and had 34,000 more jobs than a year ago.
The number of jobs increased to 3,944,900 in May — the most since December 2008. This marked an increase of 0.4 percent from April and 0.9 percent from a year ago.
“Although the unemployment rate held steady, we now have the fewest jobless workers receiving unemployment insurance benefits since the start of the recession in 2007, and the numbers of new layoffs and long-term unemployed are down,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement.
The industries showing growth from April to May were trade, transportation, and warehousing, 6,000; leisure and hospitality, 5,000; manufacturing, 3,000; education and health care, 2,200; and construction, 800. Government shed 1,300 jobs, mostly in educational services.
Industries showing the most growth since May 2011 were professional and business services, 24,000; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 16,700. The largest annual loss of jobs came in the construction industry with 7,400, followed by local public education with a loss of 4,200 jobs.
In May, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits declined 1.5 percent, to 46,763. Most of the decrease in claims came in trade, services, manufacturing, and construction.
The number of long-term unemployed workers — those jobless for at least 27 weeks — decreased by 3,600 in May to 236,900. But the number remains historically high, representing 55.7 percent of all the jobless in Georgia.
The state’s jobless rate remains above the national rate, currently 8.2 percent.
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