ATLANTA - Unemployment in Georgia rose last month, but first-time unemployment claims fell significantly, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The state’s unemployment rate in September was up 0.7% from August to 6.4%. But joblessness in Georgia remains below the national unemployment rate of 7.9%.
Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims were down 19% last month, or 45,833, to reach 201,790.
Along with fewer first-time unemployment claims, more Georgians went back to work as businesses shut down by the coronavirus pandemic continued to reopen.
During the last five months, 65% of the jobs lost have been gained back, Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said Thursday.
“We are encouraging those who have been displaced to take a look at the incredible number of career opportunities listed on EmployGeorgia that include a vast array of entry level and experienced positions of all pay grades,” he said. “Employers are looking for good candidates to fill these positions as Georgia’s economy begins to rebound.”
The labor department has processed nearly 3.9 million initial unemployment claims during the last 30 weeks, more than the last eight years combined. Those claims have generated more than $15 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits during that time.
Since mid-March, the accommodation and food services job sector has accounted for the most claims, with 929,912 claims filed. The health care and social assistance sector is next with 447,748 claims, followed by retail trade with 411,217.
The labor department offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume and assisting with other reemployment needs.