The county’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.8 percent in February to 8.4 percent in March — the lowest since hitting 8.2 percent in December 2008, said state labor analyst Corey Smith.
“The unemployment rate decreased over the month as both the number of employed and unemployed Douglas County residents improved,” he said.
Employed residents of the county grew by 211 — from 62,836 in February to 63,047 in March. Unemployed residents declined by 242, from 6,028 to 5,786, Smith reported.
Initial claims for jobless benefits increased slightly — rising from 509 in February to 512 in March.
Industries including manufacturing and real estate and leasing saw jobless claims decline. Professional and technical services and administrative and support services saw more claims for jobless benefits being filed over the month, he said.
Douglas County’s March rate was a full percentage point lower than the March 2012 jobless rate of 9.2 percent.
Among neighboring counties, Cobb was the lowest at 7.1 percent. Others included Paulding, 7.6 percent; Fulton, 8.5 percent; and Carroll, 9.7 percent.
A separate report on cities showed Douglasville’s unemployment rate decreased from 10.5 percent in February, to 10.0 percent in March.
The statewide rate was 8.4 percent; while the national rate was 7.6 percent in March.
Unemployment in metro Atlanta – which includes 28 counties surrounding the city of Atlanta – was 7.9 percent in March, down from 8.3 percent in February. Metro Atlanta includes Douglas County.
Metro Dalton, including Whitfield and Murray counties, had the state’s highest jobless rate at 10.3 percent in March. Metro Athens, including the counties of Clarke, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe, recorded the lowest rate at 5.9 percent.