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Posted: December 23, 2010 5:35 p.m.

State unemployment rate rises in November

The unemployment rate for Newton County climbed to 12.2 percent in November, according to information released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate for Newton County stood at 11.4 percent in October, and was at 12.6 percent in August.

The statewide unemployment rate was 10.1 percent for November, a .3-percent increase from the previous month. For metro Atlanta, the rate was 10.3 percent for November, a .7 percent increase from October. This is the 38th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is 9.8 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced earlier this week that the Labor Department is processing extended benefit claims for unemployed Georgians who will qualify under legislation enacted Dec. 17, which expands the extended benefits claim filing period for jobless Americans through Dec. 31, 2011. The bill does not, however, provide additional benefits beyond 99 weeks.

"These additional resources will help qualified jobseekers provide food, clothing, and shelter while they seek employment," Thurmond said in a release. "I’m pleased that the approval came in time for the holidays."

Statewide, 67,714 laid-off workers filed initial claims for benefits in November, an increase of 10,220, or 17.8, from 57,494 in October. However, there was an over-the-year decrease of 4,584 initial claims, or 6.3 percent, from 72,298 filed in November 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.

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