Georgia unemployment rate steady at 9.2 percent in August

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 20, 2012 

Georgia’s unemployment rate held its ground in August, remaining unchanged from 9.2 percent in July after climbing in the two previous months.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, in a statement today, declared the jobless rate “stabilized” and showing “respectable” job growth. The state added 25,100 jobs over the last month.

“While more than one half of the monthly growth in August came from seasonal education workers returning to their jobs, what’s more encouraging is the fact that the August-to-August growth in the last year is the most we’ve had since 2007,” Butler said.

Nearly 50,000 jobs have been created in Georgia since August 2011, the department said. Sectors contributing to that include professional and business services, trade and transportation, education and health services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality.

In the last month, health care and social assistance, along with construction, have seen growth on the job front as well.

The Columbus metro area rate posted a 10 percent unemployment rate in July. Its August figure should be released next week.

There were some metro-area data released today. It showed the Columbus work force losing 200 jobs over the past year, with the current total at 119,400. Warner Robins, Augusta and Dalton were the only other metro areas to see declines, while Hinesville was steady.

There was good news from the slowing of first-time unemployment filings. Every metro area in Georgia saw its initial claims fall over the past year. For Columbus, 1,060 residents filed for assistance in August, which was 345 fewer claims than a year ago.

Statewide, the number of Georgians classified as long-term unemployed — meaning they’ve been out of work 27 weeks or more — has fallen four straight months. That total now stands at 217,200, which is just over 49 percent of the 439,687 Georgians now officially classified as unemployed.

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