Unemployed in Central Georgia optimistic, despite troubling news
Thousands of people looking for jobs in Central Georgia showed up at the State Department of Labor's career expo Thursday in Perry.
Despite the news that Georgia's unemployment rate increased last month for the first time in a year, and looming federal budget cuts could mean the loss of more that 50,000 jobs throughout the state, many people including 20-year-old Dasmon Henley were optimistic about landing a job.
"When the economy is bad, when the government is going bad, you can't fold, you just got to keep your mind right, keep your head on a swivel to get these jobs," Henley said.
Jobs data released Thursday by the State Department of Labor show Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.0% in June, that's up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.9% in May.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler is quick to point out the unemployment rate traditionally inches up in June when new graduates and people looking for Summer work enter the job market.
Butler says while the state as a whole has lost jobs recently, the losses have mostly been in the public sector, and private jobs are actually increasing in the state.
"Georgia's economy, even though it has been very slow, it has been steady over the last 12 months, you just never know what's going to happen," Butler said.
Butler concedes he doesn't know what's going to happen regarding $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts scheduled to take place in January.
According to a report conducted by George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller, the cuts could mean the loss of 54,512 jobs throughout the state of Georgia by the of Fiscal Year 2013.
The report, commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association, shows the state would lose $2.8 billion in labor income, and $5.5 billion in gross state product.
Butler says he hopes the federal government finds a solution to the problem, but right now he's focused on getting people throughout the state employed using events like the job expo.
"Keep at it, come to these job expos, get in front of these employers, let them see you, talk to them. That right there, a lot of times that face to face contact, can be the difference between getting and not getting a job," Butler said.