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State unemployment increases

Photo by Lindsey Grewe

Photo by Lindsey Grewe

ALBANY, Ga. -- It's going to be a tough holiday season for some in the Peach State.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in November.

This figure is three-tenths of a percentage point higher than the October rate. At this time last year, unemployment was at 10.2 percent.

This is the 38th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national rate, which is currently at 9.8 percent.

"The unemployment rate is up because of increases in new layoffs and in the number of long-term unemployed," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond in a statement. "Georgia's economy must have sustained job growth in the private sector."

The number of payroll jobs has increased by 7,000, or two-thirds of a percentage point, since October. Most of the increases have come in retail trade, professional and business services and educational and health services.

Despite that, the number of jobs remain at 5,100, or one-tenth of a percentage point, less than in November 2009. In Albany, there were 300 more jobs now than there were last year -- which reflects a difference of one-half of a percentage point.

There were 252,200 long-term unemployed Georgians in November. This represents an increase of 11,600, or 4.8 percent, from October as well as an increase of 94,400, or 59.8 percent, from November 2009.

The long-term unemployed, those that have been out of for work 27 weeks or longer, now account for 53.7 percent of the state's jobless workers. A year ago, they accounted for 32.9 percent.

Also, 67,714 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in November, an increase of 10,220, or 17.8 percent, from October. At the same time, there was an over-the-year decrease of 4,584 initial claims, or 6.3 percent, from the number of claims filed last year.

In Albany, the number of initial claims have dropped by 246, or 20 percent, over the last 12 months. On the statewide level, most of the first time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services and construction.

The unemployment rates for the individual metropolitan areas will likely be released next week.