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 – The filing of first-time unemployment claims in Georgia was nearly flat last week, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Jobless Georgians filed 24,789 initial claims last week, up just 89 from the week before.

Meanwhile, state Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler reiterated a plea he made last week for claimants who have reached the end of their benefit year to file a new claim to continue receiving payments. With the coronavirus pandemic now more than a year old, some long-term unemployed Georgians are reaching that point.

“We are now seeing claimants who have received payments for more than 52 weeks who are reapplying for UI [Unemployment Insurance] benefits,” Butler said. “We will continue to issue payments while also working to transition claimants into the almost 222,000 jobs available on Employ Georgia.”

Since COVID-19 struck Georgia in March of last year, the labor department has paid out more than $19.9 billion on more than 4.5 million claims filed, more than during the last nine years combined before the pandemic.

Last week, the job sector accounting for the most first-time unemployment claims in Georgia was accommodation and food services with 6,535 claims. The administrative and support services sector was a distant second with 2,720 claims, followed closely by manufacturing with 2,706.

Available jobs listed by the agency can be found at

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