Unemployment claims up, but slowing

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

June 11, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) -- First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Georgia continued to increase in May, though at a slower rate.

Georgia Department of Labor officials Thursday reported a 68 percent increase in claims compared to the year-ago period. Last month, claims were up 63.4 percent from April 2008, down from a March year-over-year increase of 126.3 percent.

Commissioner Michael Thurmond says the numbers suggest the recession could be easing across the state. Georgia also recently received $220.3 million in federal money for its unemployment insurance trust fund.

But modest gains are tempered by data showing the fund lost some $450 million the first quarter of 2009, paying out $152 million in May alone.

Thurmond says fewer Georgians are losing their jobs, but the unemployed are drawing benefits for longer.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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