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Metro Savannah unemployment rate up to 8.9 percent
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ATLANTA-State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Savannah area increased to 8.9 percent in December, up from a revised 8.8 percent in November. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 15,856, up 330 from 15,526. The jobless rate in the metro Savannah area in December 2009 was 8.5 percent.

Preliminary figures for December show Effingham County’s unemployment rose slightly to 8.3 percent from a revised figure of 8.2 percent for November. Effingham’s jobless rate for December 2009 was 8 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in December, up two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 10 percent in November. The rate was 10.3 percent in December 2009.

Statewide, the number of payroll jobs decreased 21,800, or six-tenths of a percentage point, to 3,827,200 from 3,849,000 in November. Most of the decreases came in construction, leisure and hospitality, the public schools, professional and business services, and wholesale trade. And, the number of jobs remains 7,800, or two-tenths of a percentage point, fewer than in December 2009, when there were 3,835,000 payroll jobs. In metro Savannah, the number of payroll jobs decreased 300, from 152,800 in November to 152,500.

Also in December, 2,697 laid-off workers in metro Savannah filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits (UI), an increase of 698, or 34.9 percent, from 1,999 in November. Statewide, 75,635 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in December, an increase of 7,921, or 11.7 percent, from 67,714 in November. 

However, there was an over-the-year decrease of 25,261 initial claims, or 25 percent, from 100,896 filed in December 2009.

Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, construction, and administrative and support services.