Ga. unemployment climbs to 6.2% - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ga. unemployment climbs to 6.2%

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

August 15, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's unemployment rate right now is the highest its been in 15 years.

More than 304,000 and unemployed Georgians are looking for work, and many are turning to career offices for help.

They're serving up good food and drinks at The blue Sky Grill in Downtown Moultrie, and they're happy the economic outlook here is better than much of the state.

"Compared to some of the other parts of the state S.W. Georgia is doing better, or at least not as worst as some of the other parts of the state," said Michael L. Thurmond, Commissioner-Georgia Department of Labor.

 Since June, Georgia's unemployment rose five-tenths of one percent to 6.2 percent in July.

The highest since 1993. Which should make finding employees easy.

The owner of Blue Sky Grill says he has lost some of his help this summer, and is looking for new workers.

"I seem to have fewer employees looking for these minimum wage jobs. Right now even though unemployment is up, I'm still having a tough time finding help," said Randy Bannister, Blue Sky Grill Owner.

That's where the Goodwill Career Center in Albany tries to help.

"We provide job leads through Goodwill job board, we show them how to job search on the computer, and we help them update their resumes," said Drenda Davis-Jackson, Goodwill Career Center.

The Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner says the struggling economy makes the job market even tougher.

"The 6.2 unemployment rate for June tells us Georgia is being impacted by the housing crisis, the rising gas prices as well as the credit crunch, it will get worse before it gets better but in the long term it will get better."said Thurmond.

With more than a quarter million Georgians jobless Bannister would like to see more qualified job candidates walking in the door.

"We would think we would but we're not seeing it," said Bannister.

But they're happy they continue to see plenty of customers looking for a good meal.

Georgia's 6.2 percent unemployment rate tops the national rate of 5.7 for the sixth straight month.

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