The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region decreased to 6.8 percent in March, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in February. The rate was 8.3 percent in March a year ago.
The rate declined because employers in the Northwest Georgia area laid off fewer workers. There were 3,534 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in March, a drop of 3,312, or 48.4 percent, from 6,846 in February. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services. There were 4,588 claims in March 2013.
Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate decreased to 8.6 percent in March, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 9.1 percent in February. The rate was 10.4 percent in March a year ago.
The rate declined because Dalton employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers.
The number of jobs increased to 63,400 in March, up 400, or 0.6 percent, from 63,000 in February. The job gains came mostly in trade and textile manufacturing. Over the year, the number of jobs also increased by 400, or 0.6 percent, from 63,000 in March 2013. Most of the increase came in retail trade, professional and business services, and local government.
There were 996 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in March, a drop of 1,613 from 2,609 in February. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction, and trade, transportation, and warehousing. There were 1,104 claims in March 2013.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 7.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in February. The rate was 8.4 percent in March a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com