Job market reaches "inflection point"
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Columbus rose to 10.4 percent in February, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.3 percent in January.
Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 13,299, up five from 13,294 in January.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a record 10.5 percent in February, up one-tenth of a percentage point from January.
This marks the 29th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national seasonally adjusted rate, which was 9.7 percent.
The state's February jobless rate was up 1.8 percentage points from 8.7 percent at this same time last year. The jobless rate in metro Columbus in February 2009 was 8.7 percent.
In February, 1,231 laid-off workers in Columbus filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, a decrease of 1,578, or 56.2 percent, from 2,809 in January. There was a decrease of 231, or 15.8 percent, from 1,462 claims filed in February 2009.
Statewide 66,069 laid-off workers filed initial claims, a decrease of 29,195, or 30.6 percent from 95,264 in January. And, there was a decline of 20,450, or 23.6 percent, from 86,519 claims filed in February 2009.
Most of the first-time claims filed were in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.
"Georgia's job market has reached a critical inflection point," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "Stabilizing unemployment rates and significant declines in new layoffs suggest that we are on the threshold of sustainable job growth."
Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us .
Source: Georgia Department of Labor
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