Albany job numbers aren't pretty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany job numbers aren't pretty

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

November 20, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's jobless rate is at it's highest point in 16 years.  Right now more than 343,000 Georgians are unemployed and looking for work. 

In Albany, there are 400 fewer jobs this year than last October.  The Department of Labor says those looking for work shouldn't count on seasonal jobs. 

In this economy Chick-Fil-A doesn't have to advertise for employees, applicants come to them looking for work.

"We have more applicants than we have jobs available," said Chick-Fil-A owner Anna Wari

There are also fewer signs like this one put out by Toy's-R-Us looking for seasonal employees as unemployment numbers in Albany and across the state climbed again in October to seven percent the highest in 16 years. 

The good news is Albany had 200 more people working in October than September, which kept the regions number from being even worse.

"If that wouldn't have happened it would have been probably 600 jobs that would have been lost over that period of time," said Mikell Fryer of the Georgia Department of Labor.

The higher unemployment numbers have sent 1,100 new job seekers into the Goodwill Career Center causing them to add more resources and hours.

"We've added a couple of additional computers.  We've extended our hours Monday through Thursday we're open ten through seven," says Drenda Davis-Jackson, Goodwill Career Center Manager.

While manufacturing, construction, and retail work has fallen off, career counselors say there are jobs out there, but employers need to let them know who they're looking for.

"We get to know our customers, to know their abilities, to know what type of jobs they're looking for so when you have an employer coming in looking for those viable applicants we can get the most qualified people for their business," Davis-Jackson said.

Job seekers are encouraged to take advantage of career centers like Goodwill and the Department of Labor, they say in this competitive time it pays to have all the help you can get.  Over the last year, the number of payroll jobs decreased by 61,300.

Click HERE to see unemployment figures for Georgia cities in a .PDF file.

Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.

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