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State jobless rate down, but metro Savannah rate is up
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ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Savannah rose to 8.8 percent in June, up five-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 8.3 percent in May. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the metro area increased to 15,397, up 837 from 14,560.     
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.0 percent in June, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.1 percent in May. This is the 33rd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.5 percent. The jobless rate in metro Savannah in June 2009 was 8.5 percent. 
Unemployment in Effingham County for June was at 8.2 percent.
The number of payroll jobs in the state in June decreased 9,400, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,838,400 in May to 3,829,000. And, the number of jobs remains less than in June 2009, when there were 3,878,600 payroll jobs, 1.3 percent, or 49,600 more than this year. In metro Savannah, the number of payroll jobs decreased 300, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 152,500 in May to 152,200. The U.S Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Georgia lost more jobs from June 2009 to June 2010 than any other state but California.
“This latest federal report further emphasizes the severity of the crisis facing Georgia’s economy, as our job market shows signs of renewed deterioration,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “A sharp increase in the number of discouraged workers, rising long-term unemployment, increased new layoffs, and anemic job growth suggests that the fledgling economic recovery may be losing steam.”
Also in June, 2,124 laid off workers in metro Savannah filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, an increase of 489, or 29.9 percent, from 1,635 in May. Statewide, 64,794 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, an increase of 6,875, or 11.9 percent, from 57,919 in May. However, there was a decline of 23,962 initial claims, or 27.0 percent, from 88,756 filed in June 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and construction, and administrative and support services.
The lowest unemployment rates in the state for June were in Oconee and Long counties, at 6.7 percent. Hancock (21.5 percent) and Jenkins (20.6) had the highest unemployment rates. Of  Georgia’s 159 counties, 107 had unemployment rates above 10 percent.