For Barbara Hairston – and millions of Americans – the past few years have been a harsh introduction to an unpleasant new reality: a deep pool of jobless people in a time of modest hiring.
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The labor-force participation rate measures working-age people who are either employed or unemployed and looking for a job. Georgia has a long way to go to get back to pre-recessionary levels.
August rates for the past decade, in percentages:
2004 — 67.7
2005 — 68.5
2006 — 68.3
2007 — 67.8
2008 — 67.2
2009 — 64.7
2010 — 64.6
2011 — 64.6
2012 — 64.1
2013 — 63.4