Georgia unemployment rate above national rate for 40th consecutive month
Once again, the unemployment rate in Georgia has beaten its own record, reaching an all-time high of 10.4 percent in January. With this report, Georgia has officially been above the national unemployment rate for 40 consecutive months. Further, as the national rate has dropped from 9.7 percent to 9.0 percent over the last year, Georgia’s rate has remained stagnant at 10.4 percent, leading experts to believe that the state’s economic recovery has idled.
Further, the number of Georgia residents considered long-term unemployed, meaning workers who have been out of a job for at least 27 weeks, has increased to record highs. Currently, more than 54 percent of the state’s unemployed, or 272,600 people, are considered long-term unemployed. Because of this, it is likely that more Georgians will be forced to consider bankruptcy or similar forms of debt resolution in the face of lingering financial stress and instability.
January’s unemployment rate of 10.4 percent is nothing new, state economists say. In January of last year, the rate was exactly the same. Despite a brief dip to 10 percent last summer, there has been no real progress in repairing the state’s job market.
There were approximately 3.7 million payroll jobs in the state in January, which is a decrease of 1.8 percent from December, likely due to the loss of seasonal retail and hospitality jobs. Metro Atlanta also saw a decrease of 12,300 jobs from December to January.
Despite the fact that the number of long-term unemployed have increased by a staggering 47 percent since January of 2010, there is one piece of good news: the number of Georgia residents who filed first-time unemployment claims in January has dropped by almost 6 percent over the last year.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Georgia’s jobless rate again hits all-time high of 10.4 percent”, Henry Unger, 3 March 2011