Retail hiring cuts Georgia unemployment

Retail hiring cuts Georgia unemployment

November 17th, 2011 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

An early spike in retail jobs helped cut Georgia's jobless rate last month, although the state's 10.2 percent unemployment rate in October remained well above the U.S. average.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that 26,500 jobs were added across the Peach State last month, cutting the jobless rate from 10.3 percent in September to 10.2 percent in October. While growth came in several sectors, 12,200 of the jobs occurred from early hiring in retail, transportation and warehousing, as employers prepared for the holiday season.

"Historically, we don't usually see a spike in retail hiring in the month of October," State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement today. "However, even though this is a good sign, we will be cautiously watching the hiring trends from now until the end of the year."

Despite the drop in unemployment, the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Georgia rose last month by 9 percent to 55,865. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

The number of long-term unemployed workers increased by 7.8 percent to 259,300 in October. The long-term unemployed account for 53.6 percent of Georgia's 483,605 jobless workers.

October was the 51st consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9 percent.