Georgia’s jobless rate remains stuck at 8.7 percent

The stock market may be rocketing to a record high but the job market is still struggling.

Georgia’s unemployment rate did not budge from December to January, stuck at 8.7 percent as employers remained skittish about hiring, the state labor department said Thursday.

There was a loss of 47,700 mostly seasonal jobs and a rise in initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, the labor department said. But the increases were not enough to change the unemployment rate.

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits, resulting from layoffs in January, rose by 20,669 from December. The increase was mostly from seasonal layoffs in manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction and retail trade.

There has been an improvement in the job market from a year ago, when the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.

“We start the year with 79,600 more jobs in January than we had in the same period a year ago,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement.

Most of the yearly job growth came in professional and business services — 25,500; leisure and hospitality — 21,300; education and health care — 16,100; trade, transportation, and warehousing — 13,000; and manufacturing — 5,800.

Georgia’s labor force — those working as well as those looking for work — grew by 15,704 in January, reaching 4,846,362. That was the highest level since July 2008.

The number of long-term unemployed workers — those out of work for more than 26 weeks — declined by 3,700 to 191,300 in January. That was the lowest level in 35 months. The long-term unemployed now make up 45.2 percent of those unemployed in Georgia.

The state’s jobless rate remains considerably above the 7.9 percent national rate, which will be updated for February on Friday.

13 comments Add your comment


March 7th, 2013
8:32 am

Thank you Georgia Republicans for continued high unemployment and low real estate values when the rest of the country has been in recovery for years.

David D

March 7th, 2013
8:40 am

Of course, the jobless rate is stubborn in Georgia. We’ve had six years of economic problems and all the Legislature can do is worry about passing more laws allowing guns in churches, on MARTA, in the Airport, in grocery stores – you name it. The influence of the gun lobby and the Tea Party has corrupted this State completely.

kris cross

March 7th, 2013
9:56 am

Seen those shovel ready jobs you two? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Obama’s President, time to step up and quit campaigning.


March 7th, 2013
10:12 am

I’m not impressed with Georgia Republicans’ ability to promote economic growth either, but to be fair, Georgia voters are ultimately responsible.

The transportation SPLOST bill would’ve given a big push to the local economy and helped ease traffic congestion too, but only three traffic regions across mid-Georgia voted for the plan.

And the Georgia legislature is starving public education, putting a lot of teachers out of work, leaving us with a less-educated work force, and even redirecting tax funds to private schools.

The Georgia Republicans wouldn’t be promoting these things if voters stopped supporting them.

We get the government we deserve.

Mary M.

March 7th, 2013
10:15 am

In the article, the year began with 79,600 more jobs in January than in the same period a year ago, a plus sign. But, why are our unemployed workers not qualifying for the jobs? How much of an issue is location and transportation?

Road Scholar

March 7th, 2013
11:41 am

Yeah! Glad to see all those tax breaks for business and the “job creators” are working!


March 7th, 2013
12:39 pm

“The long-term unemployed now make up 45.2 percent of those unemployed in Georgia.”

Gotta wonder how much that correlates to the never ending extensions of unemployment benefits.


March 7th, 2013
1:52 pm

There are no more extensions or benefits for the long term unemployed. Employers won’t interview the long term unemployed even if they have education and skills. So if they qualify they go disability or social security.

Dorn Tolmsted

March 7th, 2013
2:40 pm

How’s that “Real Deal” workin’ out for ya?

The Mr.

March 8th, 2013
4:27 pm

But I thought the repulican elected state congress was going to fix all this. Guess the chosen one is more powerful then the GOP ever thought. I mean it has to be his fault right?


March 10th, 2013
8:04 am

if you People think its soo bad here why dont you move to one of those great blue states like the liberal utopia California


March 10th, 2013
4:53 pm