Metro Columbus' jobless rate rises to 9.7% in August

Press Release

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Columbus increased to 9.7% in August, up three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.4% percent in July.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the metro area increased to 12,319, up 327 from 11,992.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 10% in August, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.9% in July, primarily because of layoffs in retail trade and construction.

The rate was also 10% in August 2009. This is the 35th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.6%. The jobless rate in metro Columbus in August 2009 was 9.6%.

Although the jobless rate rose, the number of payroll jobs increased 17,800, or five-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,802,500 in July to 3,820,300 in August.

Still, the number of jobs remains less than in August 2009, when there were 3,847,000 payroll jobs, seven-tenths of a percentage point, or 26,700 more than this year.

In metro Columbus, the number of payroll jobs increased 100, from 116,400 in July to 116,500.

"Georgia's job market is stagnant and almost one-half of jobless Georgians have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer." said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "Many employers are reluctant to hire because of the costs and risks associated with bringing on new employees. To help alleviate their concerns, we have expanded our Georgia Works (GWS) training initiative. Now, all jobless Georgians, not just unemployment insurance claimants, will be eligible to receive six weeks of on-the-job training from Georgia employers."

GWS is designed to stimulate job creation and hiring. Unemployed job seekers who register with the GDOL may receive training from participating employers and up to $600 in stipends to offset training related expenses, such as transportation and child care. Additional information is available at, any GDOL career center, or by calling 1-877-WORKS09

Also in August, 1,370 laid-off workers in metro Columbus filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, an increase of 177, or 14.8 percent, from 1,193 in July. Statewide, 70,264 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in August, an increase of 2,175, or 3.2 percent, from 68,089 in July.

And, there was also an increase of 395 initial claims, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 69,869 filed in August 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, administrative and support services, and construction.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at

Source: Georgia Department of Labor