Breaking News
More () »

Georgia's unemployment rate rose 1.1% in March, with April outlook getting worse

Recent numbers paint a dire picture of the worsening economic situation.

ATLANTA — Georgia released its official unemployment rate figures for the month of March, showing a seemingly modest 1.1% increase to 4.2%.

But the picture is getting much worse in April - March's 312,520 new unemployment claims were more than either of the last two yearly totals, and the April weekly totals are dwarfing March's monthly total.

New data for last week is expected out later Thursday, but last week the Georgia Department of Labor reported 390,132 claims for the week of March 29-April 4 (this week's data will reflect the week of April 5-11.)

RELATED: IRS stimulus check status tracker is now online | Here's what you need to know

If the April 5-11 data reflect a similar number, we could surpass 1 million claims over the last six weeks.

“We are reaching unprecedented claim levels of almost one million Georgians filing for unemployment,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a release on Thursday. “That is one in every ten people who are turning to the GDOL for unemployment assistance."

The numbers are staggering - the year-over-year increase in March unemployment claims from 2019 to 2020 was 1,567%. 

RELATED: Financial expert on filing for state unemployment: Be diligent, keep trying, you will get paid

Those numbers also only reflect successful claims. Scores of viewers have been telling 11Alive about their difficulties simply filing a claim - meaning the real number of people who have lost work is higher by some amount than what the official numbers suggest.

"This is a massive undertaking, but one that I know we are capable of achieving," Butler said of his agency's work to process claims.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


Why you may still be getting 'Payment Status Not Available'

If you didn't file your taxes in 2018 or 2019, here's what you need to do to get a stimulus check

Fulton County officials see curve flattening for hospital readiness

5.2 million more seek unemployment aid as US layoffs continue to spread

This is a breakdown of Georgia's coronavirus-related deaths

Tracking COVID-19: Georgia Coronavirus Interactive map

These are the coronavirus hot spots in Georgia

Before You Leave, Check This Out