Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler

ATLANTA – First-time unemployment claims in Georgia increased last week after falling for two weeks in a row.

Jobless Georgians filed 28,387 initial claims last week, up 2,940 from the previous week, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, the agency continued working to thwart a wave of fraud that’s been a nagging problem not just in Georgia but across the nation.

Nearly 10,000 Georgians who have returned to work during the last five months have continued to request unemployment benefits, state Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said.

“It’s good to see Georgians go back to work, but it is critical that employees report these wages to us to avoid overpayments and potential legal action,” he said. “Reporting false information on your weekly certifications is against the law, and we are required to investigate any instances of potential fraud identified during wage cross-matches.”

Since coronavirus broke out in earnest in Georgia last March, the labor department has paid out more than $19 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits to nearly 4.5 million Georgians, more than during the last nine years combined prior to the pandemic.

Last week, the job sector accounting for the most first-time jobless claims was accommodation and food services with 5,705 claims. The manufacturing sector was next with 3,170 claims, followed by administrative and support services with 3,116.

More than 190,000 jobs are listed online at for Georgians to access. The labor department offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume and assisting with other reemployment needs.