published Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Georgia jobless rate at record high of 10.4 percent

Unemployment in Georgia rose again in January to a record-high of 10.4 percent as the economic recovery in the Peach State continued to trail the rest of the nation, Georgia’s labor commissioner said today.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state shed 68,800 jobs from December to January and gained a mere 2,200 jobs over the past year.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 9.7 percent a year ago to 9 percent in January. But unemployment in Georgia was at 10.4 percent in both January 2010 and January 2011 -- the highest level since the state began keeping such records in the 1970s.

“Georgia’s unemployment rate has long been above the national average rate, but I’m concerned that the disparity between the two is growing,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in his release of the January jobs report. “Our economic recovery appears to lag the nation as a whole.”

The number of Georgians out of work for more than six months jumped by more than 47 percent in the past year to 262,700, Butler said. Of those counted as unemployed in Georgia, 54.2 percent have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks.

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