5 facts behind Georgia’s 6.0 percent unemployment rate

Georgia’s unemployment rate inched down to 6.0 percent in July, the state labor department said Thursday.

The rate has improved from 7.2 percent in July of last year and has fallen from a recession high of 10.5 percent. But it has not been below 6 percent since May of 2008.

Georgia’s unemployment rate has been above the national average since October 2007.

Here’s what is going on:

— Employers are hiring more workers. The number of jobs grew by 4,600 during the month, totaling 4,252,200 in the state.

— The sectors that added employees included, local government, professional and business services, retail and leisure and hospitality.

— There were job losses in state government, education and finances.

— Employers laid off slightly more people during the month. But from a year ago, there was a 16.8 percent drop in first-time claims for unemployment benefits to 35,487.

— Over the past year, the state has added 89,400 jobs. That brought the unemployment rate down from 7.2 percent in July of last year. But Georgia’s rate is still considerably higher than the 5.3 percent national average.

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