ATLANTA - Georgia unemployment rates rose to 6.2 percent in July - the highest in 15 years - as job cutbacks in manufacturing and other blue-collar sectors gained speed across the state.
The Georgia Department of Labor says the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate represents an increase of six-tenths of one percent from 5.6 percent in June.
Georgia lost some 46,600 payroll jobs from June to July. Initial unemployment insurance claims rose by 30 percent in July, to 59,165.
About 304,536 Georgians are out of work.
Hardest hit is Atlanta, which lost 27,500 jobs, or 1.1 percent of its work force.
Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says thousands of unemployed residents are pouring into career centers and asks for patience amid "these unprecedented challenges."