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Ga. jobless rate hits 6.9%

POSTED: January 30, 2009 3:07 p.m.
ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area rose to an unadjusted rate of 6.9 percent in December, up 2.9 percentage points over the year from December 2007. The jobless rate in Coastal Georgia rose eight-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.1 percent in November.
Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate in almost 26 years. The jobless rate was up 3.6 percentage points from the same time last year. The December unemployment rate was up seven-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 7.4 percent in November.  
The last time Georgia posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at this level was in March 1983 when the rate was also 8.1 percent. The state rate remained above the national rate of 7.2 percent. At present, 393,168 unemployed Georgians are looking for work. Of that number, 156,719, or 40 percent, are drawing unemployment insurance benefits. 
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