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Georgia's jobless rate rises to 8.1 percent
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ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate shot to 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate reported since March 1983.

The department reported Thursday that 393,168 Georgians were jobless. About 40 percent of those people are getting unemployment insurance.

The March 1983 jobless rate was also 8.1 percent.

The rate was 3.6 percentage points higher than the 4.5 percent of people who were without work at the same time last year. It was also a 0.7-point increase over November's 7.4 percent unemployment rate.

The labor department says there are 121,800 fewer payroll jobs than last year, a decrease of about 2.9 percent.