Unemployment reaches 10 year high in Tifton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Unemployment reaches 10 year high in Tifton

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

September 10, 2008

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Unemployment is high and rising all over Georgia. Times are especially tough in Tifton. Three major plants have closed in Tifton in the last two years.  And the unemployment rate is expected to reach eight-point-five percent for the month of August.

These numbers are the highest its been since 1997, but the Department of Labor has been working hard to get job listings to those effected through job fairs and one-on-one counseling.

Tifton's Department of Labor employees are seeing more people walk through their doors. "New claims have increased 35%. So they have been increasing," said Employment Marketing Representative with the Georgia Department of Labor, Mark Lewis.

"Disturbing recent reports show that unemployment has gone up to 8.5 percent in the city of Tifton," said President and CEO of the Tift-Tifton Chamber of Commerce, Brad Day. 

A percentage that is more than two percent above the state's average. "We've had two large closings in the past eight to10 months. So that is why our unemployment is high. And it might get higher than eight and half percent," said Day.

The most recent is COI. The restaurant distributor is leaving 200 employees jobless when they close next month. And it is this among others closures that has state and local agencies working overtime to bring jobs to those effected. "We brought in 15 hiring employers that came inside the plant to try to hire as many people as they can," said Lewis.

The Department of Labor encourages everyone who are unemployed to use their resources. "Employers from all around the area contact us, and we post them on our system. We can help them search for jobs. We have workshops were we can help them with interviews and offer tips," said Lewis.

The Chamber of Commerce is also working on long term plans. "We are going to have to be more aggressive at recruiting efforts,"said Day. Because they know those who live in Tifton and Tift County depend on them. "The unemployment rate translate to families having a hard time," said Day.

"Right now, we know its tough, but we are here as a resource. We are here to help people," said Lewis. The Department of Labor is also helping those without jobs through education opportunities. They are pushing clients to get at least get a GED if they don't already have it.

Click here to for more information about Georgia's Department of Labor.

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