Local News
Friday, 29 May 2020 12:56

Unemployment Higher Than The Great Depression

The number of unemployed increased from 342,601 to 581,820. Georgia's April number of unemployed is more than 80,000 higher than the height of the Great Recession.  This is the highest unemployment rate on record, eclipsing the previous high of 10.6 percent that occurred in December 2010

Jobs in Georgia were down 492,100, or -10.7 percent, over the month of April to 4.1 million, the lowest level since April 2014. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes the food services and drinking places and accommodation sectors, accounted for 206,700 of the job loss, or 42 percent of the total.  The surge in initial claims in accommodation and food services, retail trade, health care, manufacturing, and administrative and support services accounted for two-thirds of all initial claims processed.

In Northeast Georgia, the unemployment rate increased in April to 11.6 percent, an increase of 7.3 percentage points. A year ago, the rate was 3 percent. Northeast Georgia ended April with 255,730 employed residents. The number decreased by 38,549 in April and was down 37,728 as compared to last year.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced it has issued over $3.1 billion in combined state and federal unemployment benefits in the past nine weeks. Since the middle of March, the Georgia Department of Labor has processed more than 2 million regular initial unemployment claims, more than the last five years combined, which was 1.7 million. Of these claims, 855,088 were valid as the claimant had earned enough reported wages to receive benefits.

How To Apply For Unemployment

The Georgia Department of Labor has temporarily suspended all in-person requirements for services. Residents are asked to conduct GDOL-related business online to protect everyone from potential exposure to COVID-19. Find instructions on the department's website.

Filing an Unemployment Claim Online

You will need your:

  • Social Security Number
  • Georgia Driver's License, if applicable
  • Bank's routing number and your account number (if you want to receive your benefit payments via direct deposit)
  • Work history information for the last 18 months

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the link labeled Apply for Unemployment Benefitson the GDOL Home page.
  2. Answer the questions completely.
  3. Download and read the Claimant Handbook. Information in this handbook provides detailed instructions regarding the unemployment insurance program and "Next Steps" to follow after submitting your claim.
  4. Record your Confirmation Number. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided when completing the claim application. (If you do not receive a confirmation number, the application was not successfully completed. It remains on the system for 24 hours. Log in again and make sure you select FINISH to receive a confirmation number.)

After you file, your next steps are to:

  1. Request your weekly benefit payment every week, starting the first Sunday after filing your claim by selecting Claim Weekly UI Benefits Paymentson the GDOL Home page or calling the Interactive Voice Response System at 1.866.598.4164
  2. Monitor your voicemail and email closely for messages from the GDOL.
  3. Respond immediately to all requests for additional information.
  4. GDOL will contact you if it is necessary for you to complete an Applicant Status Affidavit (DOL-1054A). You will not have to go to a career center.
    1. Download and complete the affidavit in its entirety.
    2. Mail the affidavit and an enlarged, legible copy of your valid government-issued picture identification to the career center you selected on your claim. Select Find a Career Centeror use the address indicated in the email request.

If you have claimed a week of benefits and have not received your written determination of eligibility, Claims Examiner's Determination within 21 days of the filed date, you may call UI Customer Service immediately at 404.232.3001 (in Metro Atlanta) or 1.877.709.8185 (in all other areas).

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