Mark Butler

Dave Williams of Capitol Beat News Service provided this content for Polk.Today and other readers around Georgia to enjoy. Find additional state and political news at

ATLANTA – First-time unemployment claims in Georgia ticked down slightly last week after increasing for two weeks in a row.

Jobless Georgians filed 24,700 initial unemployment claims last week, down 274 from the previous week, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, the labor department has begun implementing the unemployment benefits extension included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation President Joe Biden signed into law last week. The bill will extend weekly supplements of $300 to unemployed Americans through Sept. 6.

“This extension should be seamless for claimants currently receiving benefits,” Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said Thursday. “However, many claimants will need to pay close attention to upcoming benefit year-ending dates and reapply for benefits accordingly.”

Butler explained that claimants who have reached the end of their benefit year – the 52-week period that begins on the Sunday of the week a new claim is filed – must reapply for benefits, a process that will require reporting additional work history.

“There has been a great deal of confusion regarding filing a new claim,” Butler said. “Claimants need to be aware that no matter what program you were part of, if you reached the end of your benefit year, you must reapply for regular UI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits to determine if you qualify for a new regular UI claim.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Georgia a year ago, forcing businesses to close and lay off workers, the labor department has paid out more than $19.6 billion on more than 4.5 million claims, more than during the last nine years combined before the virus hit.

The job sector accounting for the most first-time unemployment claims last week in Georgia was accommodation and food services with 5,652 claims. The administrative and support services job sector was next with 2,985 claims, followed by manufacturing with 2,287.

More than 207,000 jobs listings are posted online at for Georgians to access. The labor department offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume and assisting with other reemployment needs.

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