Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to 10 percent in March — down from a revised 10.2 percent in February, the state labor department said Monday.
The state’s jobless rate was also 10.2 percent a year ago.
“The drop in the unemployment rate is encouraging, but I’m more pleased that we’ve now had two consecutive months of job growth, coupled with fewer layoffs,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “It appears that employers are growing more confident that our economy is improving.”
There were 3,812,700 payroll jobs in March — up four-tenths of a percentage point from February, the labor department said.
Sixty percent of the new jobs were added in leisure and hospitality, including 7,000 at eating and drinking establishments. Jobs were also added in manufacturing, wholesale electronic equipment, design of computer systems, transportation and warehousing, educational services, and administrative and support services.
Also, 50,331 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in March — a drop of 9.4 percent from February. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction, the labor department said.
On the negative side, there were 261,500 Georgians in March who have have been out of work for at least 27 weeks. This represents an increase of 27.7 percent from a year ago, but a drop of six-tenths of a percentage point from February.
The long-term unemployed now account for a record-high 55.7 percent of the 469,103 jobless workers in Georgia, the labor department said.
March marked the 42nd consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 8.8 percent.
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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