Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in June from 8.9 percent in May, representing the first increase in almost a year, the state labor department said Thursday.
The jobless rate was 9.9 percent a year ago.
“The unemployment rate traditionally inches up in June because new graduates and people hunting summer jobs enter the job market at the same time the private and public schools are laying off for the summer,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement.
The number of jobs dropped by 8,200 in June to total 3,933,300.
“The June job loss is a lot less than we anticipated, based on recent trends,” Butler said. “Despite the overall loss, we gained 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 900 in construction.”
The number of jobs in June was 45,200 more than in June 2011. The annual growth was in professional and business services, 23,900; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 15,200; education and health care, 7,300; manufacturing, 4,300; and leisure and hospitality, 2,400.
There were 48,879 first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in June, up 4.5 percent from May. But initial claims declined over the year, dropping by 17.1 percent from June 2011.
The number of long-term unemployed workers — those out of work for at least 27 weeks — decreased to 230,100 in June — down 6,800 from May. The long-term unemployed still comprise a very high 53.4 percent of Georgia’s jobless population.
Georgia’s unemployment rate remains considerably higher than the national rate, currently 8.2 percent.