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Jobless rate in Hall County back up to 9.2 percent
More people out of work in metro Gainesville despite increase in payroll jobs
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ATLANTA — Unemployment is up again in Hall County, matching the same total as last year, as the state's job market continues to wobble in uncertainty.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Gainesville increased to 9.2 percent in August, up from a revised 9 percent in July. That matches the 9.2 jobless rate seen in August 2009.

The total number of unemployed workers in the metro area, which includes all of Hall County, increased to 8,031, up 143 from 7,888. However, the number of payroll jobs increased 300, from 70,300 in July to 70,600.

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 10 percent in August, up from a revised 9.9 percent in July. The job losses primarily were because of layoffs in retail trade and construction.

The rate was also 10 percent in August 2009.

It marks the 35th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, now 9.6 percent.

Although the jobless rate rose, the number of payroll jobs increased 17,800, or five-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,802,500 in July to 3,820,300 in August. The number of jobs remains less than in August 2009, when there were 3,847,000 payroll jobs, seven-tenths of a percentage point, or 26,700 more than this year.

"Georgia's job market is stagnant and almost one-half of jobless Georgians have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer." said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "Many employers are reluctant to hire because of the costs and risks associated with bringing on new employees."

Also in August, 957 laid-off workers in metro Gainesville filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a decrease of 16, or 1.6 percent, from 973 in July. Statewide, 70,264 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in August, an increase of 2,175, or 3.2 percent, from 68,089 in July.

There was also an increase of 395 initial claims, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 69,869 filed in August 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, administrative and support services and construction.

The unemployment rate in the Georgia Mountains area increased to 9.3 percent in August, up from a revised 9.1 percent in July. The number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 27,406, up 540 from 26,866.

The GDOL will expand its Georgia Work$ training initiative to provide six weeks of job training for those seeking a new job. Unemployed job seekers who register with the GDOL may receive training from participating employers and up to $600 in stipends to offset training related expenses, such as transportation and child care.

Additional information is available at the GDOL website, any GDOL career center, or by calling 1-877-WORKS09.