• 81°

More people now out of work

According to Department of Labor statistics, 1,328 people who are able to work in Decatur County are currently without a job, for an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent.

The problem isn’t isolated to Decatur County, though, as unemployment is also above 9 percent in Colquitt, Crisp and Sumter counties, where the workforce is comparable in size to that of Decatur County, where 12,848 people are in the workforce. Census Bureau estimates the county’s population as of July 2007 was 28,544, 12,108 for Bainbridge.

In Decatur County, there were 364 initial claims for Georgia unemployment insurance this past November, compared with 594 claims in October and 230 in November 2007.

Unemployment rates for surrounding counties were: Early, 7.6 percent; Miller, 7.1 percent; Mitchell, 7.4 percent; Baker, 7.4 percent; Grady, 6.9 percent; Seminole, 9 percent.

Earlier this week, Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported that the unemployment rate in Southwest Georgia rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 7.3 percent in November, up 2.8 percentage points over the year from November of 2007. The jobless rate in the Southwest Georgia area rose one-tenth of one percentage point from a revised 7.2 percent in October.

Unemployment rising statewide

Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in November, the highest rate since July 1983 when it was also 7.5 percent. The jobless rate was up 3.0 percentage points from 4.5 percent at this same time last year. The November unemployment rate was up six-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.9 percent in October. The state rate remained above the national rate of 6.7 percent for the 10th straight month. At present, 365,244 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.

“My Christmas Wish is that all Georgians will embrace the true meaning of this holiday season,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “During this unprecedented economic crisis, we should remember to give the gift of love and encouragement to unemployed family members and friends. It is also important to reassure those facing economic uncertainty that expensive gifts they can ill-afford to purchase are not expected or needed.”

Thurmond encouraged job-seekers to remain positive and take advantage of the employment services offered by the Georgia Department of Labor. The department’s Web site. www.dol.state.ga.us, includes easily accessible listings of current job openings, as well as information about job search, career planning, and education and training opportunities. A complete listing of all 53 career centers is also provided.

Over the last year, the number of payroll jobs in Georgia decreased 94,400 or 2.3 percent. Manufacturing, construction and trade, along with administrative and support services, including temporary employment agencies, were the hardest hit industries.

The local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Job listings, career planning tools, information on how to survive a layoff and Georgia labor market statistics are available online at www.dol.state.ga.us. People looking for a job can also visit a one-stop job-posting search Web site at www.indeed.com.

People can also stop by the Bainbridge Career Center, which serves Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole counties, at 310 S. Scott St. Its phone number is (229) 248-2618.