GA unemployment declines slightly in May - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA unemployment declines slightly in May

By WRCB Staff

ATLANTA (WRCB)--May unemployment rate declines slightly to 10.2 percent but the number of long-term unemployed continues to increase

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in May, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.3 percent in April. However, the jobless rate remains seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than the 9.5 percent at this same time last year. This is the 32nd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent.

In May, there were 225,700 long-term unemployed Georgians (those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer). This represents an increase of 132,800, or 142.9 percent from 92,900 long-term unemployed in May 2009. And, it represents an increase of 10,600, or 4.9 percent, from 215,100 in April. Long-term unemployed now account for 47 percent of the 479,877 jobless workers in Georgia.

"It's disturbing that the number of long-term unemployed Georgia workers is growing by the thousands," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "There are some signs of improvement in the job market, but we must have robust private sector job creation before our economy will fully recover."

Georgia's job market showed a modest improvement for the fourth consecutive month. The number of payroll jobs in May increased 24,700, or seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,818,700 in April to 3,843,400. But, the number of jobs remains less than in May 2009, when there were 3,911,400 payroll jobs, 1.7 percent, or 68,000 more than this year.

Also in May, 57,919 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, a decline of 2,742, or 4.5 percent, from 60,661 in April. There was also a decline of 17,517 initial claims, or 23.2 percent, from 75,436 filed in May 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services

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