By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)
The rate of unemployment in Georgia was unchanged in the month of January, holding at 8.7% despite the loss of nearly 48,000 jobs from December.
According to data from the state Labor Department first-time claims for unemployment benefits increased by close to 21,000 as businesses cut their extra workers from the Christmas season. However, the state’s number of long-term unemployed workers is at its lowest level in almost three years. Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says the report is further evidence of Georgians feeling more positive about the economy;
"What we're seeing right now, for the last 22 out of the last 24 months, the labor force in Georgia keeps getting larger. That means that Georgians are feeling more confident about going out, looking for jobs, which means more available workforce for our employers who are continuing to hire."
The unemployment rate in January of 2012 was 9.3%, and according to the Labor Department Georgia’s total labor force grew slightly more than 1% in the last 12 months.
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