End of Census pulls Augusta employment down

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Augusta's employment boost from Census jobs was short-lived as the metro area suffered a net loss of 1,700 jobs in June after posting a net gain of 2,100 jobs in May.

A majority of June's losses were government jobs, according to Thursday's employment report from the Georgia Department of Labor.

Declines came in federal, state and local government, amounting to 1,100 of the job losses.

In May, the Census Bureau filled 850 positions for its Augusta office. Federal employment last month declined by 700. The Census Bureau reported that it cut 230,000 jobs nationally in June.

The Augusta metro area's employment was 211,400 in June, down from 213,100 in May, but higher than the 209,000 in June 2009.

The area gained jobs in small increments in retail trade, business services, hospitality, construction and transportation.

There were declines in the number of people working in manufacturing and other services.

There were 2,436 initial claims for jobless benefits in June, which is 25 percent lower than a year ago. It is a slight increase from the 2,341 initial claims for jobless benefits in May.

Statewide, 64,794 laid-off workers filed initial claims for benefits, an 11.9 percent increase from May.

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10 percent in June, down from a revised 10.1 percent in May.

This is the 33rd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.5 percent.

"Georgia's job market is showing signs of renewed deterioration," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "A sharp increase in the number of discouraged workers, rising long-term unemployment, increased new layoffs, and anemic job growth suggests that the fledgling economic recovery may be losing steam."

Georgia's labor force shrunk by 17,953 in June, as long-term unemployed workers lost hope for finding new jobs. This is the largest over-the-month decline in the labor force since May 2001.

Metro unemployment rates are due next week. South Carolina will release its numbers Friday.

Metro Area Employment

THE GAINS

Professional/business services: 100

Mining/construction: 100

Transportation: 100

Retail trade: 100

Leisure/hospitality: 100

THE LOSSES

Education/health services: 700

Federal government: 700

State government: 300

Manufacturing: 200

Local government: 100

Other services: 100

Source: Georgia Department of Labor

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