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State unemployment rate reaches 9.9 percent
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ATLANTA—State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in June, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 10 percent in June a year ago.

“The unemployment rate inched up slightly because of normal seasonal factors, primarily involving the end of the school year,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Non-contract school workers, such as bus drivers, lunchroom and janitorial workers, are usually laid-off during the summer school break. Also, new graduates began searching for jobs and are counted as unemployed while doing so. While we lost some seasonal jobs, we had another increase in the number of construction jobs, which is the industry I believe will lead us into a sustained recovery.”

The loss of 12,400 seasonal jobs in state and local public school systems accounted for the bulk of the 14,600 payroll jobs lost throughout the state. There were 3,818,600 jobs in June, down four-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,833,200 in May.

There were increases of 2,900 construction jobs and 2,400 in the service industries, which helped offset the losses in school systems. There are 20,600, or five-tenths of a percentage point, fewer jobs than in June of last year. Most of the jobs lost over-the-year were in government, construction, and financial services.

The number of long-term unemployed workers declined for the fourth consecutive month. There were 250,500 long-term unemployed Georgians in June, down 1,300, or five-tenths of a percentage point, from 251,800 in May. However, the number of long-term unemployed remains 8.9 percent higher than the 230,000 in June of last year. The long-term unemployed account for 53.6 percent of Georgia’s 467,454 jobless workers.

Also, the recent trend of an increase in first-time claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in June continued. There were 58,981 initial UI claims, up 4,138, or 7.5 percent, from 54,843 in May. Most of the first-time claims were in manufacturing and business services, which includes temporary employment agencies.