Augusta area unemployment claims dropped 22 percent in January

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 9:21 AM
Last updated 3:58 PM
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Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped in the metro Augusta area, the Georgia Department of Labor reports today.

For January, there were 3,205 initial claims for unemployment benefits, a 22 percent decline from December.

The Augusta area fared better than Columbus, Valdosta and Dalton, who saw increases in claims. Atlanta had a slight decrease.

Claims in the Augusta area spiked in December, a 64 percent increase over November, following a trend of higher claims seen in the two prior years.

The Georgia Department of Labor doesn't count the South Carolina counties in the metro area in its report of claims.

The South Carolina Employment Security Commission reports claims filed through its Aiken office increased from December to January, but were substantially lower than a year ago.

There were 1,196 claims made last month, up from 932 in December. In January 2009, there were 2,090 initial claims, the commission reports.

For the state of Georgia, 95,264 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in January, a decrease of 5,632, or 5.6 percent, from 100,896 in December.

“Typically, initial claims rise in January, due to layoffs following increased hiring of temporary workers for the holiday shopping season,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. “However, this past November and December, retailers didn’t hire as many seasonal workers as they usually do, resulting in fewer January layoffs.”

Most of the first-time claims filed were in manufacturing, trade, construction, and administrative and support services, the state reports.


Breakdown for Richmond County
Jan 09 ... 1,628
Feb 09 ... 1,290
March 09 ... 1,524
April 09 ... 1,267
May 09 ... 1,776
June 09 ... 1,788
July 09 ... 2,081
Aug 09 ... 1,375
Sept 09 ... 1,317
Oct 09 ... 1,427
Nov 09 ... 1,365
Dec 09 ... 2,123
Jan 10 ... 1,811

Breakdown for Columbia County
Jan 09 ... 608
Feb 09 ... 491
March 09 ... 603
April 09 ... 612
May 09 ... 714
June 09 ... 666
July 09 ... 837
Aug 09 ... 569
Sept 09 ... 528
Oct 09 ... 529
Nov 09 ... 533
Dec 09 ... 827
Jan 10 ... 640

Source: Georgia Department of Labor

Comments (9) Add comment
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InChristLove 02/11/10 - 10:51 am
Someone needs to proof the

Someone needs to proof the chart. Starts Jan 09, should end with Jan 10 - not Jan 09 again

countyman 02/11/10 - 11:43 am
Aren't Aiken, Mcduffie,

Aren't Aiken, Mcduffie, Burke, & Edgefield apart of the metro too.

Aiken county should altleast be listed. It has 50,000 more people than Columbia county.

jegreencreek 02/11/10 - 12:15 pm
Initial claims don't tell the

Initial claims don't tell the full story of unemployment in the CSRA. The need for jobs is great. The need for jobs that pay well enough for people to live on is staggering. There are so many people that are into the extended benifits and just getting by. That is the real economic picture and a more factual and acurate descripton of the current unemployment situation.

3M3T1B 02/11/10 - 12:31 pm
These numbers do not reflect

These numbers do not reflect those that have exhausted their unemployment and have fallen off the rolls; an average is about 40%.

Fish Out of Water
Fish Out of Water 02/11/10 - 01:37 pm
40% unemployment?! I'm

40% unemployment?! I'm interested to see where you got that figure. Remember: children, livestock, and imaginary friends aren't counted in the unemployment numbers.

themaninthemirror 02/11/10 - 02:08 pm
jegreencreek,3m3T1B, yoou

jegreencreek,3m3T1B, yoou both are absolutely correct. I have been out of work for a little more than a year now, and the only jobs I have been offered were two part time jobs. Neither paid enough to give up unemployment benefits. I applied for a job with the new operations at the Kelloggs, and never heard anything from them, and a while back we all learned that Procter and Gamble created 150 new jobs, but then learned those jobs had already been filled before they were announced to the public. It is not a point of having a job, as you said jegreencreek, it is having a job that pays well enough to live on. It is a fact that once a person exhausts their UE benefits they technically fall off the roles and are no longer counted among the unemployed. So the UE rate is much higher than what is published.

Fish Out of Water
Fish Out of Water 02/11/10 - 03:41 pm
No doubt the true

No doubt the true unemployment rate is higher than published, but 40% is an absurd exaggeration. Still, obviously this is no consolation to those currently without a job.

themaninthemirror 02/11/10 - 04:13 pm
The true unemployment rate is

The true unemployment rate is probably closer to 18%. 40 is pushing it a little.

Tim Rausch
Tim Rausch 02/11/10 - 05:01 pm
Data from South Carolina

Data from South Carolina regarding initial claims for its Aiken office have just come in and the story has been updated to include those numbers. For clarity, when the unemployment percentage comes out in the last week of every month, it includes the four Georgia and two South Carolina counties. But for the initial claims, those results are not combined. So today's data from Georgia only covers the four Georgia counties in our metro area.

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