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Liberty jobless rate stays steady
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Unemployment rates in Liberty County are holding steady, despite Georgia’s jobless population reaching nearly a half-million in July.
According to Sam Hall, director of communication for the Georgia Department of Labor, the county sees some fluctuations in its unemployment numbers, but seems to remain constant at about 2,000 claims per month.
“In June, when Liberty County had an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, it was tied with two other counties, Webster and Chatham, as the 23rd lowest in the state out of 159 counties,” Hall said.
Gary Varner manages the Hinesville’s Department of Labor Career Center.
He said there are currently an estimated 383 people drawing unemployment benefits in the city, an increase of about 65 new jobless claims since June.
“The majority of the claims we’re seeing are where people have either already drawn benefits or currently have an extended benefits claim,” he said.
The good news, he said, is we’re supported by Fort Stewart and “we’re doing better than Savannah.”.
But Varner also countered with some bad news. “There is just no work out there or there is limited work in the county. We are having to use special means to help our customers,” he said.
Under the Georgia Department of Labor guidelines, Varner said citizens can draw unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks before they can apply for an emergency extension. 
Sabrina Morgan, 39, has been out of work since March.
If she does not find a job before September, she will have completed the pay period for her original claim. 
“As a single parent of a first-year college student, it is very frustrating to be unemployed,” she said. “It’s stressful because I have to pay for college.”
The 13-year Army vet said she lost her job of two years working in logistics at the Target Distribution Center due to what she said was a difference of opinion with her employer. Since then, Morgan said she has been unable to find a job with a salary that will meet her needs.
“I have been putting in applications everywhere, but of course, due to the downturn of the economy, employers are either not hiring or they are not offering competitive wages,” she said. “I could not take an $8 an hour job. I just couldn’t even consider that.”
The Georgia Department of Labor is expected to release the July unemployment rates for Liberty County and Hinesville on Thursday.
Varner said he does not expect there will be a major change.
“We just continue doing what we try to do and that is provide the best customer service that we can because we know how frustrating it is for them,” he said.
Morgan said her faith will keep her strong.
“I try not to be nervous about it at all,” she said. “I know God will open the door for me in his timing. Until then, I will keep putting my resumes out there.”

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