DeKalb County already reached that high in October, when its unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent. A year earlier in October 2008, DeKalb County’s unemployment rate was 7.1.
State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said the prospects aren’t looking good.
“Georgia’s unemployment crisis is deepening,” he said.
Nearly a half-million Georgians are unemployed and looking for work.
People who took part-time jobs and those who have stopped looking are not included in that number.
Earlier this week, a crisis was averted when Congress approved the extension of $10 billion in unemployment benefits for jobless Americans. The benefits ran out Sunday and without the extension, millions of laid-off workers would have been stranded without their weekly unemployment checks.
About 8,000 laid-off Georgia workers are receiving state-extended benefits, and 198,000 are receiving federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) had held up the bill to force Congress to find a way to pay for the package. He relented on Tuesday and the Senate passed the bill.
President Barack Obama quickly signed the bill Tuesday night. It extends federal funding for unemployment benefits and COBRA health care premium subsidies for one month.
As a result, laid-off workers will have one additional month to qualify for certain federal unemployment benefits, which were due to expire at the end of February. Under the new law, people who exhaust their regular state benefits – which last up to 26 weeks – can begin receiving the first of four federal extensions.