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Jobless rate up again
Business briefs
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The Georgia Department of Labor reported the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.4 percent in January, topping the previous record high of 10.3 percent reported in December. The January jobless rate was up 2.0 percentage points from 8.4 percent at this same time last year.
The national adjusted unemployment rate is 9.7 percent. For 28 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate. And, since the recession began in December 2007, Georgia’s workforce has shrunk by 130,043, or 2.7 percent, from 4,832,698 to 4,702,655.  The number of payroll jobs in January decreased 151,600, or 3.9 percent, from January of 2009. The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period are Dalton, down 4.3 percent; Valdosta, down 4.2 percent; and Atlanta, down 4.0 percent. The metropolitan areas with the smallest percentage of job losses are Warner Robins, 0.0 percent; Augusta, down 0.4 percent; Hinesville, down 0.5 percent; and Columbus, down 0.9 percent. Statewide, the over-the-year losses came in manufacturing and construction, trade, transportation and utilities, along with professional and business services. On a positive note, educational and health services added 6,900 jobs over the year, along with leisure and hospitality which added 800.  

Online mortgage application

The Coastal Bank, a community bank headquartered in Savannah, recently debuted an online mortgage application for new and existing customers.
The new online mortgage application is now available 24/7 at, This upgrade is part of The Coastal Bank’s newly-redesigned website.
“We decided to offer an online application in order to make the process of applying for a mortgage as simple and secure as possible,” said Pam Brandt, senior vice president and mortgage sales manager at The Coastal Bank. “We encourage anyone with an interest in a new mortgage or re-financing an existing mortgage to fill out an application on our website.”

Groves certified

April Groves, associate broker, Keller Williams Realty Richmond Hill and broker/owner, Lighthouse Leasing & Management, has earned Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification. According to a recent NAR survey, nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures. For many real estate professionals, short sales and foreclosures are the new “traditional” transaction.
“This isn’t the real estate situation anyone wants to find themselves in. However, going through this challenge without properly trained professionals will make a bad situation worse,” Groves said. “Too often I have seen people working through complex decisions without all the tools. It is my goal to assist clients through education and understanding.”
For more information about the SFR certification, visit or call 1-877-510-7855.

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