About 8,000 Georgians with new disabilities have been unable to receive training needed to get a job. Georgia's Vocational Rehabilitation Agency has been experiencing severe budget cuts since October. Now the programs require the newly disabled to go on a waiting list to receive the training they need to match their skills with jobs.
Workers will still file unemployment claims as they have been. But with a new electronic system, the labor department will send an email to registered businesses when a worker files an unemployment claim. Then, companies can log in to a website to contest claims or explain why they let workers go.
There are 15,000 Georgians who are losing extended unemployment pay this weekend. The loss of the extra benefits comes because the state’s jobless rate is dropping. And some of those workers are also losing hope they will find a job.
A new computer system is helping a state agency collect more fines. The State Board of Workers Compensation used to rely on complaints and random inspections. Now, they're also checking computer databases.
More detailed unemployment data from the state labor department shows the Dalton area has the highest jobless rate at 11.8 percent. Metro Athens posted the lowest unemployment rate in November at 6.9 percent.
The Georgia Department of Labor reported Friday the lowest unemployment rate in Georgia is in Athens with 7.5 percent; the highest is Dalton with 12.7 percent. The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, down slightly from 10.3 percent last month and from October 2010.
Starting this month, the U.S. Department of Labor is stepping up enforcement of labor laws in Georgia. The effort is primarily focused on restaurants, and federal labor officials will be visiting establishments in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina looking for violations of minimum-wage, overtime and child-labor laws.