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Gainesville's jobless rate drops in September
State reports unadjusted rate of 8.8 percent, down from 9.2 in August
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Could this be the recovery we've been waiting for?

Fewer people in Hall County are out of work, the Georgia Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate in metro Gainesville was a preliminary unadjusted 8.8 percent in September, down from a revised 9.2 percent in August.

The number of unemployed workers in the metro Gainesville area decreased to 7,628, down 365 from 7,993. The jobless rate in September 2009 was 9.2 percent.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 10 percent from August to September. This was the 36th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.6 percent.

There were 466,234 jobless Georgians in September, with 50.7 percent being long-term unemployed, out of work 27 weeks or longer. This was the first time the number of long-term unemployed reached 50 percent. The state's rate was 10.1 percent in September 2009.

Although the state's rate was unchanged, the number of payroll jobs decreased 7,600, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,821,400 in August to 3,813,800 in September. Also, the number of jobs remains less than in September 2009, when there were 3,836,200 payroll jobs, six-tenths of a percentage point, or 22,400 more than this year. In metro Gainesville, the number of payroll jobs increased 500, from 70,300 in August to 70,800.

"While area unemployment rates dropped, the changes were primarily due to people leaving the work force, often because of their inability to find work, rather than an increase in hiring," State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said. "Employers are often hesitant to hire in an uncertain economy."

Also in September, 762 laid-off workers in metro Gainesville filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a decrease of 195, or 20.4 percent, from 957 in August. Statewide, 57,146 laid-off workers filed initial claims for UI benefits in September, a decrease of 13,118, or 18.7 percent, from 70,264 in August. There also was a decrease of 9,468 initial claims, or 14.2, from 66,614 filed in September 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains area also dropped to 8.8 percent, down five-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.3 percent in August. The number of unemployed workers in the area decreased to 25,850, down 1,426 from 27,276.

The department's Georgia Work$ program has been devised to help job seekers and employers with training and job transitions. Additional information is available online or at 1-877-WORKS09.