ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate in metro Savannah rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 6 percent in October, up 2.2 percentage points over the year from last October. The unemployment rate rose to 7 percent in October, the highest rate in more than 16 years. The jobless rate was up 2.5 percentage points from 4.5 percent at this same time last year. The October unemployment rate was up six-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.4 percent in September.
The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 6.4 percent in October, up 2.4 percentage points over the year from October 2007. The jobless rate in the Coastal Georgia area rose four-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.0 percent in September.
At present, 343,093 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.
“Georgia’s economy continues to suffer from increasing job losses and rising unemployment,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “I commend our state’s congressional delegation and President Bush for approving extended unemployment insurance benefits for the more than 90,000 Georgians who may be eligible under the new law. This is welcomed and much-needed financial assistance, as they search for new jobs.”
Benefit recipients who have already exhausted their claims and meet eligibility requirements under the new legislation will receive written notification, an application and instructions on how to apply.
Individuals who are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits and exhaust their claims should continue to certify each week. They will automatically be enrolled for the extended benefits. For additional information about extended benefits, visit www.dol.state.ga.us, or in the metro Atlanta area call (404) 232-4290, and from outside Atlanta, call toll-free at (866) 873-5676.
Over the last year, the number of payroll jobs decreased 61,300 or 1.5 percent. This is the largest October-to-October decline in jobs ever recorded. The over-the-year job losses came across-the-board in all major sectors. Manufacturing, construction, retail trade and private employment agencies were especially hard hit.
In metro Savannah, the number of jobs in October dropped 2,000 over the year, or 1.2 percentage points, from 162,400 to 160,400. From September to October, the number of jobs in Savannah was unchanged at 160,400.
The local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.