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Georgia unemployment level highest in 15 years

Hall County gains more jobs despite statewide trend

POSTED: September 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Wednesday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in August, the highest in 15 years. The jobless rate was up 1.9 percentage points from 4.4 percent at this same time last year. During the same period, the number of payroll jobs decreased 37,700 or nine-tenths of 1 percentage point.

While the adjusted unemployment rate for the Gainesville area was not available, the labor department said the Hall County area saw an increase of 400 jobs from July to August. There were 78,000 jobs in Hall in August, an increase of one half of 1 percent.

The unemployment rate in Hall County in July was 5.4 percent, up two-tenths of 1 percent from June. The number of jobs in Hall has increased by 1,400 since Jan. 1.

The last time Georgia’s unemployment rate reached this level was in March of 1993, and there has not been an over-the-year decline in jobs this great since June of 2003. The state rate remains above the national rate of 6.1 percent for the seventh straight month. At present, 310,683 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.

"We’re in the midst of a very challenging job market," said Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, "and finding a job is difficult, but not impossible."



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