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Jobless rate rises to 9.4 percent in Gainesville area
Number up seven-tenths of a percentage point from October
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The unemployment rate in the metro Gainesville area jumped back up in November, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Wednesday.

The preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in Hall County increased to 9.4 percent, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in October. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 8,194, up 578 from 7,616. The jobless rate in the metro Gainesville area in November 2009 was 9.1 percent.

In November, the number of payroll jobs increased 7,000, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,842,500 in October to 3,849,500. Most of the increases came in retail trade, professional and business services, and educational and health services. However, the number of jobs remains 5,100, or one-tenth of a percentage point, less than in November 2009, when there were 3,854,600 payroll jobs.

In metro Gainesville, the number of payroll jobs decreased 600, from 71,500 in October to 70,900 in November.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in November, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.8 percent in October. The preliminary October rate of 9.9 percent reported last month has been revised downward by one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate was 10.2 percent in November 2009. This is the 38th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.8 percent.

Also in November, 1,383 laid-off workers in Gainesville filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, an increase of 285, or 26 percent, from 1,098 in October.

Statewide, 67,714 laid-off workers filed initial claims for benefits in November, an increase of 10,220, or 17.8, from 57,494 in October.

However, there was an over-the-year decrease of 4,584 initial claims, or 6.3 percent, from 72,298 filed in November 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced earlier this week that the Georgia Department of Labor is processing extended benefit claims for unemployed Georgians who will qualify under legislation enacted Friday, which expands the extended benefits claim filing period for jobless Americans through Dec. 31, 2011. The bill does not, however, provide additional benefits beyond 99 weeks.

"These additional resources will help qualified job seekers provide food, clothing and shelter while they seek employment," Thurmond said. "I'm pleased that the approval came in time for the holidays."

The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains area took a similar rise to 9.4 percent in November, up from 8.7 percent the previous month.