ATLANTA - Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Atlanta area declined to 9.8 percent in March.
He said that's down from a revised 10.2 percent in February.
It compares to a jobless rate of 10.1 percent in March 2010.
Officials said the rate decreased because there were 8,600 new jobs in Atlanta in March, mostly in leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade, professional and business services, and educational and health services.
Labor officials said Georgia's highest rate - 11.7 percent- was in the Altamaha region around Dublin in central Georgia.
They said the lowest rate - 7.3 percent - was in metro Athens.