Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 percent in December, a 3 percent one-year increase that reflects the economic downturn’s dramatic effect in Georgia, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. The jobless rate in metro Atlanta rose .07 percentage point from a revised 6.9 percent in November.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in December, the highest rate since 1983, the department said. The jobless rate was up 3.6 percentage points from 4.5 percent at this time last year. The December unemployment rate was up .07 percentage point from a revised 7.4 percent in November.
The last time Georgia saw an unemployment rate this high was in March 1983, also 8.1 percent. Georgia’s jobless rate remained above the national rate of 7.2 percent for the 11th straight month. There are currently 393,168 unemployed Georgians looking for work. Of that number, 156,719, or 40 percent, are drawing unemployment insurance benefits.