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Georgia’s Unemployment Payments in Last 12 Months More Than Last 82 Years Combined

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that it surpassed a major milestone the previous week in the organization, paying claimants more in the past 12 months than in all of the combined years that GDOL has been in existence.

Georgians have received $20.218 billion in unemployment insurance (UI) payments since March 21 of 2020, more than the past 82 years prior to the pandemic combined. Last week, the GDOL dispersed over $269 million UI benefits including regular UI, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), State Extended Benefits (SEB), and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) was established in 1911. Known then as the Department of Commerce and Labor, it had broad authority over industrial and occupational safety and administration of labor laws. The Wagner-Peyser Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1935, mandated a federal-state partnership for operation of employment service agencies. As a result, the Georgia General Assembly enacted the Employment Security Law of 1937, officially creating a Georgia Department of Labor.

“We have paid over $20 billion in UI benefits working daily for over a year to make sure eligible individuals are receiving weekly payments,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We have issued payments to over 1.5 million Georgians during this pandemic while also continuing to support reemployment services looking to get many of these individuals back into the workplace.”

Claimants who filed an individual claim and have reached the end of their benefit year should file a new claim. A benefit year is the 52-week period beginning on the Sunday of the week a new claim is filed. Once this time period expires, claimants must reapply for benefits reporting any additional work history, including temporary, part-time, self-employment, or W-2 work. Information on benefit year ending dates can be found on the GDOL website at

Today, 228,512 job listings are online at for Georgians to access.  These listings could include multiple positions for each job indicating a much higher number of jobs available.  The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs.  Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year, the GDOL has processed 4,586,970 regular UI initial claims, more than the combined last nine years prior to the pandemic (4.0 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 39,282, up 14,493 over the week.  Additionally, the agency currently has 296,402 active PUA claims.

The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 16,315, Administrative and Support Services, 4,064, Manufacturing, 2,336, Health Care, 2,143, and Retail Trade, 2,004.

The number of initial claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending March 27 was 719,000, an increase of 61,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 658,000.

UI benefits are taxable income and 1099-G tax forms are issued in accordance with federal law to report payments and all taxes withheld during each tax year. If you received a 1099-G tax form and did not file a UI claim yourself or your employer did not file one on your behalf, you may be the victim of UI fraud and should report the incident on the GDOL website at Select Report 1099 ID Theft at the bottom and follow the instructions.  If you received a 1099-G tax form and returned the benefits or wish to return the benefits, please see detailed instructions on next steps at


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