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Posted: March 29, 2012 9:09 a.m.

Jobless rate decreases to 9.0 percent

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Atlanta declined to 9.0 percent in February, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in January. The jobless rate in metro Atlanta in February a year ago was 9.9 percent.

The rate decreased because there were fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, trade, and administrative and support services.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.0 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia's February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the seventh consecutive month to 9.1 percent, the lowest rate since March of 2009, when it was also 9.1 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.2 percent in January. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in February a year ago.

Statewide, the rate went down because the number of jobs in February increased by 15,600 to 3,880,400, with 70 percent of the growth coming in the private sector. Also, newly revised numbers show the state gained 41,800 jobs in the past 12 months.

The employment sectors showing growth over the year were: professional and business services, 28,000; retail trade, 12,700; education and health care, 8,300; and manufacturing, 4,200.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us

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