ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in August. The rate is unchanged from July, when the preliminary 9.3 percent rate was revised to 9.2 percent. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in August a year ago.
“The unemployment rate has stabilized after two months of increases,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Georgia continues to have respectable job growth, which is a good sign. While more than one-half of the monthly growth in August came from seasonal education workers returning to their jobs, what’s more encouraging is the fact that the August-to-August growth in the last year is the most we’ve had since 2007.”
The number of jobs rose by 25,100, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,914,100 in July to 3,939,200 in August. While 15,200 of those jobs resulted primarily from workers returning to local public and private schools following seasonal layoffs, there was new growth in some industries. Health care and social assistance grew by 4,400; professional and business services by 2,400; manufacturing by 1,600; trade, transportation, and warehousing by 1,500; and construction by 1,000.
Georgia has created 49,700 jobs since the 3,889,500 recorded in August 2011. The annual growth sectors were professional and business services, 25,500; trade and transportation, 22,500; education and health services, 9,800; manufacturing, 6,900; and leisure and hospitality, 4,700.
The pace of new layoffs continues to slow, as the number of initial claims dropped to 45,725, down by 10,815, or 19.1 percent, from 56,540 in July. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing and administrative and support services. The number of new claims was down by 19 percent over the year, dropping by 10,751 from 56,476 in August a year ago.
The number of long-term unemployed workers decreased to 217,200 in August, down by 8,200 from 225,400 in July. And, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 36,900, or 14.5 percent from 254,100 in August 2011. The long-term unemployed, those out of work for more than 26 weeks, make up 49.4 percent of those unemployed in Georgia, the lowest percent in almost two years.