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State's jobless rate rises to 7.5 percent, highest in 25 years
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ATLANTA - Georgia's unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 percent in November, the highest rate in more than 25 years, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.

The rate has climbed a full 3 percentage points from a year ago, when it was 4.5 percent, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a news release. The rate was 6.9 percent in October.

"Job losses are accelerating throughout most of the state's economic sectors, with the exception of health care, education, and the federal government," Thurmond said. "Although it may be difficult to find a job in this environment, it is not impossible."

Thurmond urged Georgians to upgrade their skills to make themselves more employable by enrolling at one of the state's two-year colleges and technical colleges.

Georgia's jobless rate has been running above the national rate - currently 6.7 percent - for the past several months.

The Labor Department says 365,244 Georgians are looking for work. The last time Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at this level was in 1983, when the rate was also 7.5 percent.

The agency says over the past year, the number of payroll jobs decreased 2.3 percent, including a 2.7 percent decline in metro Atlanta and a 4.2 percent decrease in the Dalton area.

Athens showed the least decline of any metropolitan area with 0.1 percent.

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