Ge­or­gia un­em­ploy­ment up slightly in July

The Covington News - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

Ge­or­gia’s sea­son­ally ad­justed un­em­ploy­ment rate in­creased to 8.8 per­cent in July, ac­cord­ing to the state Depart­ment of La­bor. That is three-tenths of a per­cent­age point higher than the re­vised 8.5 per­cent rate in June, but three-tenths of a per­cent­age point lower than the 9.1 per­cent rate in July a year ago.

State La­bor Com­mis­sion Mark But­ler at­trib­uted the in­crease to a “sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of new lay­offs, and the fact that non-con­tract school em­ploy­ees re­mained un­em­ployed be­cause of the sum­mer break. But­ler added, how­ever, that “the vast ma­jor­ity of the lay­offs were tem­po­rary, and the school em­ploy­ees are be­gin­ning to re­turn to work.”

New claims for un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance ben­e­fits rose by 14,329 to 54,106, from 39,777 in June.

For the past five years, the num­ber of ini­tial claims in July has risen by ap­prox­i­mately 7,000. Ap­prox­i­mately 11,000 of the new claims rep­re­sented tem­po­rary lay­offs, pri­mar­ily in man­u­fac­tur­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tive and sup­port ser­vices, while oth­ers were in trade and con­struc­tion.

How­ever, the num­ber of ini­tial claims was down by 2,434 from 56,540 in July 2012.

“Ge­or­gia’s pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ers have added jobs for six con­sec­u­tive months,” But­ler said. “And, in­side that pri­vate sec­tor num­ber, there’s more en­cour­ag­ing news. Con­struc­tion grew more than 4,000 jobs, which is one of the largest over-themonth gains in con­struc­tion we’ve seen in a very long time. Most of the con­struc­tion growth is in the spe­cialty trades, such as elec­tri­cians and car­pen­ters, which are in-de­mand oc­cu­pa­tions.”

In ad­di­tion to an in­crease of 4,100 jobs in con­struc­tion, ad­di­tional gains were in trade and trans­porta­tion, 5,000; man­u­fac­tur­ing, 2,400; leisure and hos­pi­tali- ty, 1,800; ed­u­ca­tion and health ser­vices, 1,500; pro­fes­sional and busi­ness ser­vices, 900; and in­for­ma­tion ser­vices, 600.

The num­ber of longterm un­em­ployed work­ers de­clined to 179,900, down 1,300 from 181,200 in June.

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