Georgia unemployment remains high on Labor Day - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia unemployment remains high on Labor Day

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  This Labor Day, one in 10 Georgia workers can't find a job.

Georgia's unemployment remains above the national average which is 9.6 percent. Monday as local unions and state representatives gathered to honor the work force they say more must be done to create jobs in southwest Georgia.

According to the Department of Labor in the last year, Albany's added just 400 jobs, what worries many this Labor Day is more than 40-thousand discouraged Georgians simply quit looking for work altogether this summer because they can't find jobs. Despite Albany's double digit unemployment rate, in downtown is was labor supporting labor.

"Labor is what keeps Albany going and keeps the nation going so we really need to support labor," said Loraine Jackson, CWA Local 3201 Secretary/Treasurer.

Loraine Jackson watched in March as AT&T, cut 75 jobs for the National Directory Assistance Center in Albany.

"A lot of those people are still looking for, so we're hoping things will turn around the first of the year of course it's so uncertain we have no way of knowing that," said Jackson.

That's why the CWA along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is hoping for better employment news from the President this week. While construction's been slow, they say local projects don't always mean local jobs.

"So many times we see projects that go on, under construction here in the Albany and the greater area, that are done by outside workers, outside contractors come in and bring their out of state workforce to take the jobs that our citizens here so desperately need," said Allan York, IBEW local 1531 Business Manager.

In Georgia, construction unemployment numbers have been as high as 35 percent. Representative Winfred Dukes today says the state need to stop tax cuts for a particular business and offer cuts industry wide to bring in new employers.

"We need something that will be targeted not to a specific company but more or less to specific industries," said District 150-(D) Representative Winfred Dukes.

While he believes Albany will always have a manufacturing base, he wants Albany's leaders to be focused on looking for high technology, green industries, which may be the jobs of the future.

The construction industry believes it could see as many as 1,200 jobs if the coal fired plant is built in Early County. The IBEW local union says that could mean as many as 400 jobs for electricians.

Those looking for employment will get some help later this month with a job fair September 15th at the Pope Center on the South Georgia Technical College Campus in Americus. 35 employers and educational institutions will provide assistance to job seekers. The job fair is from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.


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