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Update, April 23: The Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday, April 23, it has processed nearly 1.1 million claims in the past month, more than the combined total for the previous three years.
The number of initial jobless claims has reached an all-time high, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday, April 16.
Previous story: Since March 14, the Georgia Department of Labor has processed over 861,000 claims, including 319,581 between March 29 and April 4.
“We are reaching unprecedented claim levels of almost 1 million Georgians filing for unemployment,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “That is 1 in every 10 people who are turning to the GDOL for unemployment assistance. This is a massive undertaking, but one that I know we are capable of achieving.”
Georgia has 10.6 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 estimate.
Unemployment claims showed an increase of 290,068 claims, or 1,292%, in March, and were up by 293,774 claims, or 1,567%, from March 2019.
The monthly total was higher than the annual total for each of the previous two years, 291,962 in 2019, and 310,494 in 2018, according to the department.
March 2020 labor statistics also showed that the over-the-month increase for the unemployment rate was the largest on record.
The unemployment rate increased by 1.1 percentage points in March, to reach 4.2%. A year ago, the rate was 3.7%.
The following sectors saw the highest increase in initial claims for unemployment over the month: 132,564, accommodation and food services, 132,564; 37,621, health care and social assistance; and 23,074, trade.
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