published Friday, March 4th, 2011

Tennessee, Georgia jobless rates rise

Unemployment rose in January across Tennessee and Georgia despite a drop in the U.S. jobless rate.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that unemployment rose two-tenths of a percent in January to tie the record high of 10.4 percent as the economic recovery in Georgia continued to trail the rest of the nation.

In Tennessee, the January jobless rate edged up 0.1 percent to 9.5 percent.

Both states had higher unemployment rates than the U.S. rate of 9.0 percent in January.

“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 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.

Tennessee is faring somewhat better. Over the past year, the jobless rate in the Volunteer State has dropped from 10.4 percent in January 2010 to 9.5 percent in January 2011.

“Tennessee’s unemployment rate has remained stable since last July,” Tennessee Labor Commissioner Karla Davis said. “Long-term employment growth is continuing, and our unemployment rate is much improved from last January.”

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