September 24, 2009
ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Augusta area declined to 9.5 percent in August, down six-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 10.1 percent in July. The reduction in the rate is primarily due to work force shrinkage.
In Augusta, the number of unemployed workers decreased in August to 24,616, down 1,768 from 26,384 in July. There were 17,559 jobless workers in Augusta in August 2008, when the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent. The number of payroll jobs in metro Augusta was 210,700, a loss of 5,200, or 2.4 percent from 215,900 in August 2008.
Statewide, the number of payroll jobs in August decreased 238,200, or 5.8 percent, from August of 2008. The over-the-year losses came in trade, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies, and construction. Healthcare and private educational services showed a combined increase of 13,400 jobs.
Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in August, virtually unchanged from a revised 10.3 percent in July. The rate remained above the national rate of 9.7 percent for the 22nd consecutive month.
State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond stressed that additional efforts must be focused on stimulating private sector job creation, particularly through Georgia’s small and medium-sized businesses. The GDOL is expanding Georgia Work$ (GW$), an initiative that significantly reduces employer costs associated with recruiting, training and hiring new employees.