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Initial jobless claims rise 94.8 percent; North Georgia hit hard

Release Date: July 9, 2009

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that 88,756 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in June, an increase of 94.8 percent from June of 2008.

The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of increase in claims from June 2008 to June 2009 are Rome, up 181.0 percent; Gainesville, up 172.8 percent; and Athens, up 163.2 percent. The areas with the smallest increase in claims are Dalton, up 48.5 percent; Albany, up 66.3 percent; and Savannah, up 68.7 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said, “Rising unemployment continues to plague local economies throughout North Georgia. Fortunately, lay-offs in the hard-hit Dalton area appear to be moderating, although the recession-resistant Athens labor market experienced an unusually sharp increase in first-time jobless claims.”

Most of the state initial claims were filed by laid-off workers in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services. The number of jobless workers receiving regular state unemployment insurance benefits rose 97.1 percent over the year, from 81,321 in June of 2008 to 160,249 in June of 2009. And approximately another 93,000 are receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.

In June, the GDOL processed 25,048 first-time claims for EUC benefits, bringing the total to 226,574 since the federal program began in Georgia in July of 2008. Federal extended benefits are available to eligible jobless workers who have exhausted regular state unemployment compensation.

Commissioner Thurmond urged jobseekers to look for work, explore training and education opportunities and to make full use of the reemployment services at the department’s 53 career centers around the state. The locations of the career centers are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.

Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia UI Initial Claims

 

 

 

 

Metro Area

 

# Increase

 

% Increase

 

June

 2008

 

June

 2009

 

 

Rome

 

950

 

 181.0%

 

525

 

1,475

 

 

Gainesville

 

1,113

 

 172.8%

 

644

 

1,757

 

 

Athens

 

979

 

 163.2%

 

600

 

1,579

 

 

Augusta

 

1,900

 

 139.5%

 

1,362

 

3,262

 

 

Columbus

 

996

 

 127.7%

 

780

 

1,776

 

 

Warner Robins

 

444

 

 114.1%

 

389

 

833

 

 

Brunswick

 

490

 

 106.1%

 

462

 

952

 

 

Atlanta

 

20,197

 

 104.7%

 

19,295

 

39,492

 

 

Macon

 

1,131

 

 102.4%

 

1,104

 

2,235

 

 

Hinesville

 

154

 

   93.9%

 

164

 

318

 

 

Valdosta

 

576

 

   73.4%

 

785

 

1,361

 

 

Savannah

 

921

 

   68.7%

 

1,340

 

2,261

 

 

Albany

 

559

 

   66.3%

 

843

 

1,402

 

 

Dalton

 

868

 

   48.5%

 

1,789

 

2,657

 

 

STATEWIDE

 

43,203

 

   94.8%

 

45,553

 

88,756

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATA FOR THE 14 METRO AREAS ARE ATTACHED. NEWS MEDIA NEEDING MORE INFORMATION CALL (404) 232-3685. TABLES AND GRAPHS REFLECTING LABOR MARKET DATA ARE AVAILABLE AT www.dol.state.ga.us/pr/current_data.htm.

CY-09-251



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