ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced that 84,346 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in April, an increase of 63.4 percent from April of 2008. By comparison, March's year-over-year increase was 126.3 percent, continuing a trend of "triple-digit" monthly increases in 2009.
The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of increase in claims from April 2008 to April 2009 are Gainesville, up 164.9 percent; Athens, up 143.2 percent; and Augusta, up 117.6 percent. The areas with the smallest increase in claims are Dalton, up 18.6 percent; Warner Robins, up 24.6 percent; and Macon, up 49.7 percent.
Most of the state initial claims were filed by laid-off workers in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services. And, the number of jobless workers receiving unemployment insurance benefits rose 107.8 percent over the year, from 80,830 in April of 2008 to 167,981 in April of 2009.
Also, in April, the GDOL processed 18,936 first-time claims for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits, bringing the total to 180,933 since the federal program began in Georgia in July of 2008. Federal extended benefits are available to eligible jobless workers who have exhausted regular state unemployment compensation.
State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond urges all Georgians to watch the Georgia Department of Labor's 15th annual televised job fair which will be broadcast statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) Sunday, May 17, from 2-4 p.m. The live broadcast, entitled Job Fair 2009 - Preparing For Recovery, will originate from Atlanta, Albany, and Macon. In addition to GPB's nine station network of television stations, the broadcast will be simulcast over WALB-TV Channel 10 in Albany and WMAZ-TV Channel 13 in Macon.