Georgia’s Jobless Rate Declines to 9.0% in March

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THOMASVILLE, GA -- April 19, 2012-

"Today is my first day to see if I can get some help with the Department of Labor with their career services."

Tammy Suber is just one of the 426,733 unemployed people that make up the state of Georgia.

"I'm a registered nurse, I have my bachelor's degree but so far I haven't had much luck re-entering the work force. I've had some time off due to some family illnesses and now I'm trying to get back into the market," said Suber.

Suber is at the career services center in Thomasville on the same day that the state department of labor released numbers indicating the jobless rate was declining for an eight straight month.

"That downward trend is certainly evident here in Thomas County. Recently we had a job fair at Southwest Georgia Technical College where approximately 60 employers attended that were hiring job seekers, and to date we've seen hires from that job fair," said Georgia Department of Labor Thomasville Branch Manager Cynthia Drayton.

Compare March 2012's numbers to March 2011. The jobless rate has decreased from 9.8% a year ago to 9.0% today.

A positive trend, but for people like Suber, all they can do is keep on the job hunt.

"Steady looking every day, just not able to find it."

ATLANTA – April 19, 2012 -

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in March for the eighth consecutive month to 9.0 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009, when it was 8.9 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in February. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in March a year ago.

“Georgia’s unemployment rate continues to trend downward,” Commissioner Butler said, “and it’s important to recognize that it’s done so as the number of people in the labor force steadily increased. This indicates a growing optimism among unemployed workers that they will be able to land a job. In fact, Georgia employers have created 35,600 jobs in the past year.

The number of jobs in Georgia from February to March increased 13,900 to 3,894,900. The employment sectors showing growth since March of 2011 were: professional and business services, 28,900; trade and transportation, 10,700; education and health services, 7,900; manufacturing, 5,900; and leisure and hospitality, 1,200.

“I’m also encouraged that the number of new lay-offs continues to decline, reaching the lowest level since March four years ago,” Commissioner Butler continued.

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits declined to 42,676, down 3,650, or 7.9 percent, from 46,326 in February. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing, trade, construction, and administrative and support services. Initial claims were also down by 7,655, or 15.2 percent, from 50,331 in March of last year.

The number of long-term unemployed workers decreased 2,500, or 1.0 percent, to 239,200 from February to March. This is the fewest number of long-term unemployed since 236,600 in September 2010. The long-term unemployed make up 56 percent of all jobless workers in Georgia.