After two months of increases, Georgia’s unemployment rate remained at 9.2 percent from July to August, the state labor department said Thursday.
While there was an increase of 25,100 jobs in August, two-thirds came from employees returning to local schools following summer layoffs.
Still, state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said “the August-to-August growth in the last year is the most we’ve had since 2007.” A total of 49,700 jobs have been created in the past year, which has pushed down the unemployment rate from 9.9 percent.
Besides the returning education workers, there were increases in the health care and social assistance sector, which grew by 4,400 jobs from July to August. Professional and business services increased by 2,400 jobs; manufacturing by 1,600; trade, transportation, and warehousing by 1,500; and construction by 1,000.
The pace of new layoffs continues to slow, the labor department said. The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 19.1 percent from July to August. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing and administrative and support services.
The number of long-term unemployed workers — those out of work for at least 27 weeks — decreased to 217,200 in August, down by 8,200 from July. The long-term unemployed now make up 49.4 percent of those unemployed in Georgia — the lowest percentage in almost two years, but still a very high proportion and above the national average.
Georgia’s jobless rate remains considerably higher than the national rate, currently 8.1 percent. The state’s unemployment rate in July was revised to 9.2 percent from a previous estimate of 9.3 percent.