published Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Georgia jobless rate stays above U.S. average

Unemployment in Georgia dipped slightly last month but remained in double digits and above the U.S. average for the 41st consecutive month.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that the jobless rate across Georgia fell from a revised 10.3 percent in January to 10.2 percent in February. Georgia’s unemployment rate remained well above the comparable U.S. rate of 8.9 percent last month.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the addition of 25,100 jobs in February “gives me reason for cautious optimism.

“I’m encouraged that we continue to see a reduction in the number of new layoffs,” Butler said. “However, the growing number of long term unemployed is troubling.”

Last month, Georgia counted 263,200 persons who had been unemployed more for than six months. That was up by nearly 38 percent from the same period a year ago.

Such long-term unemployed now account for a record-high 55.1 percent of the 478,104 jobless workers in Georgia.

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