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Unemployment falls to 7.9 percent in Effingham County

POSTED: April 26, 2012 9:32 p.m.

ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor announced that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Savannah declined to 8.3 percent in March, down three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 8.6 percent in February. The jobless rate in metro Savannah in March a year ago was also 8.6 percent.

The rate decreased because there were fewer layoffs in manufacturing and retail trade.

Unemployment in Effingham County stood at 7.9 percent for March, down from 8.1 percent the previous month. Effingham is one of 32 Georgia counties with an unemployment rate below 8 percent.

The preliminary unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area declined to 8.9 percent in March, down two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in February. The jobless rate in the Coastal Georgia area in March a year ago was also 9.1 percent.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.7 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.6 percent.

Oconee County had the lowest unemployment at 5.7 percent. Jenkins County had the highest unemployment rate for March among the state’s 159 counties, with a jobless rate of 17.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in March for the eighth consecutive month to 9.0 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009, when it was 8.9 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in February. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in March a year ago.

Statewide, the rate went down because the number of jobs in March increased by 13,900 to 3,894,900. Also, revised numbers show the state gained 35,600 jobs in the past 12 months.

The employment sectors showing growth since March 2011 were: professional and business services, 28,900; trade and transportation, 10,700; education and health services, 7,900; manufacturing, 5,900; and leisure and hospitality, 1,200.

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