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County jobless rate lower than metro, state
by Noreen Cochran
May 07, 2014 10:25 AM | 1900 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Labor announced April 24 that metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate declined to 6.8 percent in March, but it was eclipsed by Henry County’s 6.7 percent figure.

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from 6.9 percent in February.

The rate was 8.0 percent in March a year ago.

Stockbridge, although above the metro jobless rate, had three times its decline in percentage points, dropping 0.3 percent from last month’s 9.0 percent.

The county as a whole lowered its rate four times as much, by 0.4 percent, and beat the metro and state averages with a 6.7 percent jobless figure, the same as the U.S. seasonally adjusted statistic.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the metro Atlanta rate declined in part because employers created more jobs.

“Mainly it had to do with the fact we saw local businesses add 17,500 jobs over the last month, which, by the way, if we look over the last five years that is double the average that we’ve seen growth-wise in jobs,” he said in a statement.

Government jobs, which had been growing scarcer in 2013, roared back in March with 800 new hires. Butler said most sectors increased their headcounts.

“Your top three are leisure and hospitality; professional business services; and trade and transportation utilities,” he said. “Construction is continuing to be a bright spot for Georgians, especially in the Atlanta area.”

Another factor is nearly 22 percent fewer laid-off workers.

According to department spokesman Sam Hall, there were 13,982 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in March.

“Most of the decline in claims came in construction, 1,114; manufacturing, 1,014; and administrative and support services, 619,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell for the ninth month in a row to 7.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in February and 8.4 percent a year ago.

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