It is the highest seasonally adjusted rate recorded in Georgia since 1976, when the U.S. Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics standardized unemployment rates among all states.
From January 2008 to January 2009, the number of payroll jobs decreased 149,500 or 3.6 percent. Jobs were lost in manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation and warehousing, along with professional and business services, including temporary employment agencies. Jobs were added in education and health services, state and local education, and with the federal government.
The DOL has said Northwest Georgia has been hit particularly hard in manufacturing job losses, especially textiles, and in housing-related industries.
Click to see the previous report "Floyd County's jobless increase third-highest in Georgia for January."
The state does not release changes in the number of jobs in Rome, but Dalton, another Northwest Georgia city, lost 5,800 jobs between January 2008 and January 2009. Dropping from 76,100 jobs last year to 70,300 last month, thats a decrease of 7.6 percent.
Earlier this month, the DOL said there was a 150-percent increase in new unemployment claims between January 2008 and January 2009 in Rome.
We are officially sailing in uncharted economic waters, said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Georgia is in the midst of a severe economic downturn. Times are difficult, but not hopeless. All Georgians must work together to meet and overcome these unprecedented challenges.
The previous record high was 8.3 percent, recorded in January 1983. Currently, 412,770 unemployed Georgians are looking for work, an increase of 62.9 percent over the year. Of that number, 183,829, or 44.5 percent, are receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
The jobless rate is up 3.4 percentage points from 5.2 percent at this same time last year. The January unemployment rate was up 1.1 percentage points from a revised 7.5 percent in December. Georgias unemployment rate remained above the national rate of 7.6 percent for the 15th consecutive month.