ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Savannah area increased to 8.9 percent in November, up six-tenths of a percentage point from 8.3 percent in October. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 15,616, up 1,195 from 14,421. The jobless rate in the metro Savannah area in November 2009 was 8.1 percent.
Preliminary figures for November show Effingham County’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.2 percent from 7.6 percent in October. Effingham’s unemployment rate for November 2009 was 7.7 percent.
Hancock County, at 23.9 percent, had the state’s highest unemployment rate, based on November’s preliminary figures. Long County, at 6.6 percent, had the state’s lowest jobless rate.
State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced earlier this week that the Georgia Department of Labor is processing extended benefit claims for unemployed Georgians who will qualify under legislation enacted Friday, which expands the extended benefits claim filing period for jobless Americans through Dec. 31, 2011. The bill does not, however, provide additional benefits beyond 99 weeks.
“These additional resources will help qualified jobseekers provide food, clothing, and shelter while they seek employment,” said Commissioner Thurmond. “I’m pleased that the approval came in time for the holidays.”
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in November, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.8 percent in October. The preliminary October rate of 9.9 percent reported last month has been revised downward by one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate was 10.2 percent in November 2009. This is the 38th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.8 percent.
In November, the number of payroll jobs increased 7,000, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,842,500 in October to 3,849,500 in November. Most of the increases came in retail trade, professional and business services, and educational and health services. However, the number of jobs remains 5,100, or one-tenth of a percentage point, less than in November 2009, when there were 3,854,600 payroll jobs. In metro Savannah, the number of payroll jobs increased 900, from 151,900 in October to 152,800 in November.
Also in November, 1,999 laid-off workers in metro Savannah filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits (UI), an increase of 233, or 13.2 percent, from 1,766 in October. Statewide, 67,714 laid-off workers filed initial claims for (UI) benefits in November, an increase of 10,220, or 17.8, from 57,494 in October. However, there was an over-the-year decrease of 4,584 initial claims, or 6.3 percent, from 72,298 filed in November 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction.