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Georgia's jobless rate hit record high of 8.6 percent in January
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ATLANTA -- The Georgia Deparment of Labor says the state's unemployment rate hit a record high in January.

Department numbers show the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit 8.6 percent last month. That's the highest seasonally adjusted rate recorded in Georgia since 1976.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said the state is "sailing in uncharted economic waters" and is suffering "a severe economic downturn."

The previous record high, recorded in January 1983, was 8.3 percent. Currently, 412,770 unemployed Georgians are looking for work. That's an increase of more than 60 percent from the same time last year.

The state's unemployment rate was above the national rate of 7.6 percent for the 15th consecutive month.