River Valley's Jobless Rate Dips Slightly to 10.4 percent in July

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the River Valley area declined to 10.4 percent in July, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.5 percent in June. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area decreased to 16,215, down 162 from 16,377.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined slightly to 9.9 percent in July, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.0 percent in June. This is the 34th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.5 percent. The jobless rate in the River Valley area in July 2009 was 10.3 percent.

The slight dip in the state's unemployment rate was primarily the result of the labor force shrinking by 21,043 from June to July, as long-term unemployed workers became discouraged and gave up their job search. Coupled with the increase of 19,026 discouraged workers in June, Georgia's labor force has deteriorated by more than 40,000 during the past two months. This is the first time since 2001 that Georgia has experienced significant reductions in the labor force for two consecutive months.

The number of payroll jobs in July decreased 21,600, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,827,200 in June to 3,805,600. And, the number of jobs remains less than in July 2009, when there were 3,836,000 payroll jobs, eight-tenths of a percentage point, or 30,400 more than this year.

Statewide, 68,089 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in July, an increase of 3,295, or 5.1 percent, from 64,794 in June. However, there was a decline of 25,899 initial claims, or 27.6 percent, from 93,988 filed in July 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, administrative and support services, and construction.