Georgia’s unemployment rate held steady in October at 9.9 percent, while data for the state’s metro areas indicate an improving employment picture for Columbus.
The state’s jobless number last month was identical to that in September, with that month’s number being revised down from an initially reported 10 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor said today.
Still, Georgia’s current rate is higher than that of the nation for the 37th straight month. The U.S. rate is now 9.6 percent. A year ago in October, Georgia’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent.
The department noted that the number of payroll jobs in the state rose by 22,300 from September to October, landing at 3.8 million. And there were 240,600 Georgians classified as long-term unemployed last month, up slightly. Long-term unemployment is when a person has been out of work 27 weeks or longer.
Columbus, meanwhile, was among three major metro areas in Georgia to see solid job gains year over year. The city added 800 positions last month compared to October 2009, with its work force now at 117,300. Augusta added 1,300 jobs, while Savannah picked up 1,000. In the loss column, Athens is down 2,500 positions, while Macon is off by 2,300.
And in another good sign for the unemployed, every metro area in Georgia experienced a year-over-year decline in those filing jobless claims for the first time. Columbus was in the middle of the pack, with 1,187 local residents submitting initial claims, 157 fewer than a year ago and a drop of nearly 12 percent.
The Columbus unemployment rate in September was 9.6 percent. October’s figure should be released next week.