“The pace of new layoffs is decelerating,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “However, a rising number of laid-off workers are remaining unemployed longer.”
The slowdown in first-time claims was also recorded in Northwest Georgia, where all counties saw a slowdown from July 2009 to August 2009 although the year-over-year numbers continue to increase.
Gordon County saw its first-time claims fall to 870 in August from 1,061 in July, but last month's numbers were up by 24.5 percent from August 2008, according to Department of Labor statistics.
The number of jobless workers receiving state UI benefits rose 79.6 percent over the year, from 80,150 in August of 2008 to 143,942 in August of 2009. Approximately 148,000 UI claimants are receiving federally-funded extended benefits, bringing the total number of UI beneficiaries to 291,942. The average length of time that jobless Georgia workers drew UI benefits increased from 11.6 weeks in August of 2008 to 13.7 weeks in August of 2009.
Most of the initial claims were filed by laid-off workers in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.
Commissioner Thurmond stressed that efforts must be focused on stimulating private sector job creation, particularly through Georgia’s small businesses, in order to put jobless Georgians back to work.