The Georgia unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in August, a modest increase from the month before, but sharply higher than a year ago. It's the highest rate in 15 years.
The August rate was slightly higher than the 6 percent reported by the Georgia Department of Labor in July.
But the figure easily eclipses the 4.4 percent rate from August 2007.
Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond urged those seeking jobs to keep their chins up, and use the department's career centers. The Columbus Career Center is located at 700 Veterans Parkway.
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"We’re in the midst of a very challenging job market and finding a job is difficult, but not impossible," Thurmond said in a statement. "I encourage all job seekers to keep the faith and continue their job search efforts."
The number of payroll jobs in the state have declined by 37,700 over the last year, the department said. There now are nearly 311,000 Georgians out of jobs and looking for work.
The Columbus metro area jobless rate registered 7 percent in July, the department reported last month. August numbers are due out next week.
Here are Georgia's metro areas and their work force changes over the last year:
• Albany: Down 800, or 1.2 percentage points, from 64,900 to 64,100
• Athens: Up 1,400, or 1.7 percentage points, from 82,800 to 84,200
• Atlanta: Down 20,100, or eight-tenths of one percentage point, from 2,469,900 to 2,449,800
• Augusta: Up 400, or two-tenths of one percentage point, from 215,600 to 216,000
• Columbus: Down 600, or five-tenths of one percentage point, from 122,100 to 121,500
• Dalton: Down 1,600, or two percentage points, from 78,100 to 76,500
• Gainesville: Up 400, or five-tenths of one percentage point, from 77,600 to 78,000
• Macon: Down 200, or two-tenths of one percentage point, from 100,500 to 100,300
• Savannah: Down 800, or five-tenths of one percentage point, from 161,700 to 160,900
• Valdosta: Down 400, or seven-tenths of one percentage point, from 56,200 to 55,800
• Warner Robins: Down 200, or three-tenths of one percentage point, from 58,800 to 58,600
Contact the Columbus Career Center at 706-649-7423.