A man holds sign "I lost my job because of coronavirus." as he sits Male sitting on stairs of building at his  former place of work in the business center.

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Highest Unemployment Ever in GA

Why you might not have your money yet

Maria Boynton
May 21, 2020 - 3:58 pm

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic the record for unemployment in Georgia was 10.6%. That was in December 2010.

The new employment rate is higher than the last four years combined according to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

There were more than 1 million claims for unemployment in April, which Butler says puts Georgia’s jobless rate at 11.9%.

“Unlike the previous record, which was based on economic factors, this one was based on the COVID-19 health emergency” says Butler.

While he expects additional permanent layoffs over the next couple of months, Butler predicts the state will recover quickly.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says there are 80,000 jobs available on the EmployGA website
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At present, “there are plenty of jobs available statewide” according to Butler. There are about “80,000 current job openings” on the Employ Georgia website.

A year ago the rate was 3.6%. Today it’s almost 12%. There were 1,041,401 requests for unemployment insurance last month in Georgia.

As of this week, Butler says $3.7 billion has been paid in state and federal jobless benefits. Yet, there are more than 40,000 people, who Butler says, have not claimed their unemployment funds.

They are “fully approved for unemployment”, according to Butler, but have not gone into the system and “actually asked for payment for the weeks of unemployment.”  For those already receiving payments, Butler advises “make sure that you have claimed all the weeks of unemployment that you need to.”

All filing instructions can be found on the Georgia Department of Labor website.

Nationally, more than 2.4 million in the U.S. filed for first time benefits last week.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at 14.7%

Since mid-March, the U.S. Labor Department reports 38.6 million, or 23.7 percent of the labor force, have filed initial jobless claims.