John Bazemore / GPB News

Thursday on Political Rewind, unemployment remains a serious issue across the country and the state of Georgia.

We discussed the uncertain future for workers with Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler.

David Goldman/AP

The number of initial unemployment claims has reached another all-time high, with April’s total surpassing the number of claims reached in the past four years combined, officials said Thursday.

Last month’s increase for the unemployment rate was the largest on record, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.

Scott Sonner / AP

In the last month, the Georgia Department of Labor has processed 1,090,536 unemployment claims.


That’s more than the last three years combined. But Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to let some businesses reopen has raised new questions about who is eligible for benefits.

Elijah Nouvelage / Invision/AP

Atlanta resident Tyler Perry not only supported one of his favorite restaurants by ordering take-out food Sunday, but he also dropped a $21,000 tip.


Perry's publicist confirms the entertainment giant (actor, director, studio owner/executive) left a tip while picking up his order at Houston's in the Paces Ferry Plaza located in Buckhead.

Working in the food service industry can be a tough gig, even without a pandemic. Many workers are uninsured and — like the restaurants employing them — have little financial cushion for weathering crises.

Since 2013, Giving Kitchen has helped bolster the industry by providing crisis grants, resources, and assistance to food service workers. But now, with restaurant closures and many folks out of work, more food industry employees find themselves in crisis than ever before — an insurmountable challenge for the small Atlanta-based nonprofit.

Scott Sonner / AP Image

New claims for unemployment in Georgia have more than doubled as businesses shut down amid coronavirus fears, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Marianna Bacallao

Organizers and city leaders are still puzzling out why a job fair at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon recently saw an unexpectedly large turnout.

More than 3,500 job hunters stood in a line a mile long, and some continued to wait hours after the fair technically closed.  This all happened amidst reports of low unemployment rates for the county and state.

  • Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck steps aside amid embezzlement trial
  • Ga. loses 14,900 jobs in April
  • Braves win second straight game, 10-2


Unemployment hover nears a historic low as the United States approaches the tenth anniversary of the end of the Great Recession, but millions of Americans over the age of 55 are still searching for full-time employment.

Today's show explored the mysteries of the human brain, how workers 55 and older are navigating the job market and opioid misuse among construction workers.

Emory University's Brain Health Center has partnered with GPB to create a new television show, "Your Fantastic Mind." The show's host Jaye Watson joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the upcoming season, which premieres tonight on GPB. It highlights clinical advances in neurology, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine.

Georgia Department of Labor

Georgia's unemployment rate dropped to four point one percent in June, officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Labor said that's the lowest rate since 2001, with nearly 5 million residents working. That's a record.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Georgia's strong economy is attracting new residents.

The U.S. economy shed 33,000 jobs in September, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while unemployment fell to 4.2 percent.

The September payrolls drop broke a nearly seven-year streak of continuous job gains, but economists caution that the drop is likely representing the short-term consequences of bad weather, not a long-term shift in the job market.

Before this report, the economy had added an average of about 175,000 jobs per month; the unemployment rate has been at 4.3 or 4.4 percent since April.

The U.S. economy created an estimated 209,000 jobs in July, representing a modest slowdown from the previous month but coming in better than many economists had expected. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly report that, statistically, July showed little change from previous months, as the number of unemployed persons remained around 7 million.

President Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller had a tense exchange with reporters at Wednesday's press briefing as he defended the administration's new proposal to dramatically curtail legal immigration. The plan prioritizes highly skilled workers over family members for green cards.

The Steps To Secure Future Jobs In Georgia

Jan 17, 2017
WSDOT / Foter

As 2017 kicks off, new unemployment numbers in Georgia show mixed results. Working Nation is a not-for-profit campaign focused on finding solutions to the unemployment issue. Founder Art Bilger says Georgia’s low ranking is due to a number of factors, including poor performance in some areas and lack of awareness. We ask him about some of these analytics, and what his organization believes the future holds.