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State unemployment rate lowest in nearly three years

State labor department statistics highlight job growth. Meanwhile, Atlantic Station has a job opportunity that will get you noticed.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in January to 9.2 percent, the lowest rate since March of 2009 when it was 9.1 percent.

That is a decline of two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.4 percent in December according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The jobless rate was 10.1 percent in January 2011.

The rate went down because about 13,000 more Georgians were employed in January than in December. Also, newly revised numbers show that Georgia gained 83,700 jobs in the last 12 months. This is the largest January to January job growth since 2006.

“This job growth shows that Georgia is headed in the right direction,” Commissioner Butler said in a press release. “The business services sector, which includes temporary employment agencies, showed the most growth. Economists consider this to be a leading indicator that businesses are gaining confidence in the economy and are beginning to grow their businesses.”

Among the sectors showing growth over the year, professional and businesses services gained 37,000 jobs, retail trade gained 15,100, health care and social assistance grew by 11,100, and manufacturing gained 7,300.

While Georgia lost 45,300 jobs between December and January, most of the loss was expected in temporary seasonal employment. This is the smallest December to January job loss since 1987.

In January, the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits rose to 77,756, up 14,042, or 22 percent, from 63,714 in December. Most of the increase is attributed to seasonal layoffs in retail trade and construction. However, on a positive note, the number of initial claims decreased 11,903, or 13.3 percent, from 89,659 claims filed in January of last year.

Also, the number of long-term unemployed workers decreased 900, to 244,200 from December to January, the fewest number since October of 2010.

There is at least one Midtown job currently available that doesn’t pay anything, but does come with perks and will certainly get you noticed. Atlantic Station is currently holding a contest to determine who will be its next announcer to greet the development’s more than nine million annual visitors.

The winner of “Atlantic Station’s Announcer Sweepstakes” will be the new voice that greets every guest entering and exiting its parking facility.

According to Atlantic Station Blogspot, the winning voice will receive complimentary valet parking for a year, and an “A Card,” a VIP experience that offers discounts at participating Atlantic Station retailers and restaurants.

The deadline for entries is Sunday, March 4.

HOW TO ENTER:

Atlantic Station has a mere eight seconds to make its fist impression on arriving guests. Any would-be recording artist can submit his or her eight-second first impression in the form of an audio or video clip describing why he or she is “The Announcer.”

  • Record an eight-second (or less) video/audio clip of why you should be Atlantic Station’s “Announcer.” The video or audio file size should be kept at or under 100 MB and in one of the following file formats: MP3; .MPEG; .MOV; .AVI; or .WMV
  • Email your video/audio clip to info@AtlanticStation.com or tweet it to @AtlanticStation

Top entries will be posted on Atlantic Station’s Facebook page for fans to vote on beginning March 5.

The contest is arguably the most quirky component of a comprehensive overhaul to improve parking facilities in Atlantic Station. Its $2.5 million renovation has been completed and includes improved lighting, signage and a color-coded location system.

There also are plans underway to overhaul the valet parking. The new Circle Valet will be adjacent to the recently opened Relapse Comedy Theatre and the soon-to-open Yard House restaurant. The new, larger location is expected to be more convenient for guests.

Speaking of Yard House, it is targeting an April 22 opening and will be taking applications to fill an array of positions beginning Tuesday, March 6. See here for more information.

- The Georgia Department of Labor contributed to this story

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