Unemployment in Georgia rose last month to the highest level since February as graduating students flooded the job market at the same time most schools were on summer breaks.
The Georgia Department of Labor said today that the jobless rate during June rose by three tenths of a percent to 8.6 percent. That was still below the 9.1 percent rate of a year ago and over the past year employment in Georgia grew by 2.2 percent, adding 85,200 jobs.
"The rate increased primarily because of two factors that occur this time of year," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in releasing the monthly report today. "A large number of education workers are unemployed during the summer and new graduates are considered unemployed until they find a job."
The seasonal impact on the unemployment rate was compounded because Georgia lost 600 jobs and the number of people in the labor force declined by 1,341.
"There is a silver lining in this new data because this was the best May-to-June job performance we've had since 2002, " Butler continued. "And, if you factor out the loss of 10,000 government jobs and just look at the private sector, we would have actually gained 9,400 jobs last month because our private sector employers continue to hire."
Georgia's unemployment rate was a full percent higher in June than the U.S. average of 7.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.