ATLANTA — First-time unemployment claims fell in Georgia last week, running counter to an increase at the national level.

Jobless Georgians filed 12,605 initial claims last week, down 1,870 from the previous week and the lowest weekly total since the coronavirus pandemic struck Georgia in March of last year.

The state Department of Labor has paid out almost $22.9 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits since March 21, 2020, more than during the last decade combined prior to the pandemic.

The agency has processed nearly 5 billion first-time unemployment claims during those months.

Resources for unemployed Georgians seeking reemployment along with information on filing jobless claims can be found on the labor department’s website at https://dol.georgia.gov. Job listings and job search assistance is available at https://employgeorgia.com.