Georgia Unemployment Matches Record High

Georgia Department of Labor -- Georgia Unemployment has risen to match a record high.

The Georgia Department of Labor reports the December 2009 unemployment rate for the state was 10.3%, matching the record high rate reported last July. This is up .2% from November's 10.1% unemployment rate and up 2.8% from December 2008.

The national unemployment rate is 10.0%. Georgia's unemployment rate has been higher than the national rate for 24 of the last 25 months.  Since the recession began in December 2007, Georgia's workforce has shrunk by 121,257 or 2.5 percent, from 4,823,467 to 4,702,210.

The number of payroll jobs in December decreased 175,000, or 4.3 percent, from December of 2008. The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period are Dalton, down 6.0 percent; Valdosta, down 5.8 percent and Macon, down 5.5 percent.

The metropolitan areas with the smallest percentage of job losses are Rome, down 0.8 percent, Warner Robins, down 1.6 percent; and Albany, down 1.9 percent. Only Hinesville showed an increase in jobs, up 100, or 0.5 percent. Statewide, the over-the-year losses came in trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services. On a positive note, educational and health services added 11,200 jobs over the year.