Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate drops substantially to 9.8 percent in March

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate fell substantially in March to 9.8 percent, from 10.2 percent in February, the state labor department said Tuesday.

The jobless rate decreased because 8,600 new jobs were created in March — mostly in leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade, professional and business services, education and health, the labor department said.

“The unemployment rate decreased in Atlanta, as well as in all of the state’s other 24 local areas,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “This is encouraging, and hopefully indicates that a modest recovery may be building throughout the state.”

A year ago, metro unemployment was 10.1 percent.

For the five core metro counties, Clayton had the highest jobless rate at 11.9 percent. Fulton was next at 10.1 percent, followed by DeKalb at 10 percent. Cobb posted 9.1 percent and Gwinnett 8.9 percent.

Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate fell in March to 10.0 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from February.

March marked the 42nd consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 8.8 percent.

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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45 comments Add your comment


April 26th, 2011
6:03 am

blip on the radar

April 26th, 2011
6:40 am

Sure, it’s good news that the unemployment rate is falling. But, it’s still way too high and about half of those unemployed have been so for more than 27 weeks. We also have the highest teen unemployment rate in the nation (36.3%).

Cheering a drop in the unemployment rate is like cheering a one-day rise in the Dow Jones Industrial average. It is only significant if it is part of a trend.

Our president and congress don’t seem much interested in the unemployment rate.

Just wonderin

April 26th, 2011
6:45 am

The unemployment rate has dropped not because of jobs being created but because people can no longer get unemployment benefits. I for one have been out of work forthe last 3 almost 4 years and still cant find a job that will pay me even decent pay. Most jobs want to pay as less as possible but demand all the work in the world out of you. We wonder why crime is so high well hey look at the unemployment rate and that should tell you something. My son too is trying to look for a job for the summer and guess what he too cant get a job…….This is so sad and they call this America land of the free …….PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!


April 26th, 2011
6:55 am

Substantially? Really? That small of a decrease can be explained away by people that are not counted anymore. Should not the unemployment rate be about 5% max? Wake me up when we get there.

Henry Unger

April 26th, 2011
7:04 am

There is no question that 9.8 percent unemployment is still way too high. Five percent should be a goal. But it is going to take years to get back there. Nevertheless, a drop of 0.4 percent in a month is a good short-term sign that we have not seen in a while. A few more months like that and we will have made a decent dent. Unfortunately, I do not think it’s going to move down that fast.

Buzz G

April 26th, 2011
7:24 am

Lies, lies and more lies from the Obama administration. These unemployment figures, like the inflation figures, are twisted into a pretzel like shape and then baked for an hour before being released for public consumption. There is even a website,, dedicated to routing out dishonesty in government statistics. Anyone who actually believes that fewer than one in ten in the Atlanta area are unemployed also probably believes in the tooth fairy. The fact is that this downturn has gone on for so long that many have just stopped looking for work. These wanna be workers, officially called “discouraged”, are simply dropped from the statistics. Now can someone please explain the logic of this.


April 26th, 2011
7:33 am

To just wonderin: It is the land of the free and my suggestion is for you to find a better place to live. Please drop the oh woe is me line also. If you have been out of work for 3 or 4 yrs something is definitely wrong and it is with you, not this country. Get off your butt and get a job and your dignity back.


April 26th, 2011
7:41 am

The unemployment number is as bogus as the current inflation rate. Neither indicate what they are supposedly tracking. The people who no longer qualify for unemployment, or have given up in frustration of looking, or were forced to ‘retire’, or are working a part time minimum wage job when they really want full time work are all not counted in this 9.8% number. Everyone knows that the true number is at least 18-19%, and by other measures where only 60+% of the working age population are actually employed the number is really much higher. Inflation? Well, the government doesn’t count gas or food in their statistics since they are so ‘volatile’. Besides food & gas, what do most of us have money to spend on? Everyone needs to look behind the numbers to see what is actually being counted whenever big government issues them…. Good luck everybody, its tough out there.

Fakey McFake

April 26th, 2011
7:42 am

+1 blip for the apt comparison
-1 Henry for the sensationalism


April 26th, 2011
7:43 am

@ Just wonderin – you have not been able to find a job for 4 years?
*shaking my head…honey that is your fault not the systems.

Loose 50lbs, bleach your teeth, remove any excessive jewlery, makeup, beards if you’re a man (or woman) navy suit from Men’s Warehouse, yadda yadda yadda….Look for ANY WORK! Check out person at Wal-Mart, Secetary, Six Flags….Anything.


April 26th, 2011
7:47 am

This article is a joke just like the those running our country! We will NEVER get out of this mess and those of you thinking we will…. guess you will be voting STUPID again!! Or you never were touched one bit by anything and you have NO compassion for those that were and still are trying to recover!!!


April 26th, 2011
8:06 am

I totally agree with Just Wonderin. I’m still wondering how I am an American citizen who has worked since I was 13 but am NOT eligible for any type of benefits beyond the 330/wk stipend from unemployment. I’ve been unemployed for almost 2 years now and even went to Maryland looking for unemployment but to no avail, so now Im back in GA hoping to network and find a job.

It’s amazing how my country of the United States of America will support others who are not citizens but not there own!!!!!!

We need to really wake up America; and those who feel they are not affected by the social problems of unemployment will when things affect there neighborhoods. It’s amazing that people cannot see that social issues affect ALL eventually.

peace and love

Looney Tunes

April 26th, 2011
8:12 am

So if our President was a Republican these numbers would be true, right? You people are pathetic.


April 26th, 2011
8:16 am


Unemployment trended UPWARD during “abc’s” presidency…but “they” love him and his political agenda.

Unemployment is trending DOWNWARD during “xyz’s” presidency…but “they” hate him and despise his political agenda.



April 26th, 2011
8:20 am

If Just wonderin and Reborne communicate as poorly with prospective employers as they do on this blog there’s no wonderin why they can’t find a job. What employer would take the chance that these two semi-literates would communicate with a customer? My advice would be to take whatever job they can get and try to work their way up over time.


April 26th, 2011
8:23 am

Looney Tunes and Amazed…before you say anything good about democrats, we need to ask the real question Americans want to know: Where is the birth certificate of Obama!! But seriously…how does every blog turn into a political conversation with the same stupid arguments? Get over yourselves people…


April 26th, 2011
8:29 am

yep, those 50,000 new jobs at McDonalds brought the unemployment number down…


April 26th, 2011
8:44 am

“Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate drops substantially to 9.8 percent in March” – you have GOT to be kidding! A substantial drop would be two to 3 percent – NOT a lousy four tenths of one percent!


April 26th, 2011
8:53 am

The unemployment rate is FAR FROM FALLING. Lots of people got booted off the list as of end-March. They became unentitled because they used up all their benefits and were taken off the list. My hushand is one such person. Those who say the unemployment rate is falling are deceiving the public.

Road Scholar

April 26th, 2011
9:00 am

For those who claim that the jobs offered are “below them” do not have anything to complain about. Take the job, make some money to support yourself, and kep interviewing! Work your way up the ladder instead of trying to jump on the ladder at a higher step. You might actually learn something other than waiting for the “right” job.

For those who complain about President Obama and the state job statistics, they are calculated by the State Department of labor! Get a life!

DS: Bless your heart!


April 26th, 2011
9:02 am

Hey Just Wonderin,

Most of the Midwest states run between 3% and 5% unemployment. After a year, it’s time to look outside Georgia. After 2 years, it’s time to MOVE outside Georgia. I can’t imagine looking for work in the same place for more than 6 months let alone 4 years.

At 2 years, you cut your losses, sell what you can and move on and start over. Sitting in Georgia waiting for a job with “decent pay” is unacceptable. if such a job was going to materialize for you her, it would have long before now. I’d suggest you and your son start hitting the states with the lowest UI numbers and start making plans to get out of Georgia.


April 26th, 2011
9:18 am

The unemployment rate will, drop..Obama wants to get re-elected…

Karl Marx

April 26th, 2011
9:22 am

If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you. The “unemployment” rate is dropping because thousands are dropping off the unemployment rolls and no longer counted. The U6 rate is still in the 18% range. Jobs that are being created are low pay because we are still bleeding jobs to other countries in the name of the “Global Economy”. We need to ask the Dummycrats where are all those “Green Jobs”? What a joke.

Unemployed Spouse

April 26th, 2011
9:44 am

That’s exactly true Marx and Jet. How can you claim a victory in reducing unemployment when you consider an unemployed six-figure construction exec now “employed” because he got a job at a UPS store for $10 an hour? Add to that the outrageous price of gasoline, groceries and college tuition and there’s no recovering.


April 26th, 2011
10:12 am

Unemployed Spouse, that $10 bucks an hour is $10 buck he did not have yesterday.
You know what bothers me about some of these comments (Rep Vs. Dem), the Republicans forgot that open check book that they gave Bush during his eight years for fight an uncalled for war in Iraq. They also forgot that when he took office, this great land of ours had a surplus of money and a balance budget, and he screwed all of us in eight years.
So stop blaming Obama for everything, yes he has made mistakes, but he is trying.


April 26th, 2011
10:19 am

As a native and now part time resident of Atlanta (my wife and kids live there in our home), I can speak to having to go elsewhere to find work. There are jobs out there, you just have to be willing to leave the area to work! While this is not our preferred situation, sometimes you have to think about supporting your family instead of satisfying your own objectives. Once the housing market picks up, our whole family and the $$ spent in the are are out of here. I suspect that this will be a pattern in many large cities. Others will find opportunity here as well. Think at least regionally in your job search “wondering” and you will be suprised with the opportunity if you are willing to try.


April 26th, 2011
10:20 am

Once the housing market picks up, our whole family and the $$ spent in the are area out of here.


April 26th, 2011
10:23 am

I understand people being unemployed and I understand people being employed. I have been on both sides of the fence. If one can’t find a job and has no static income coming in, how do they move to another state (it is not as easy as you all make it sound). Stay positive, continue to look and believe and something will happen for everyone that need help. By the grace of GOD some of us are not in that “unemployed” category. So, don’t bash anyone that is currently going through it.


April 26th, 2011
11:14 am

How do they figure the unemployment rate? Do they still count the folks who have given up looking for work? What about those whose unemployment checks have run out, but are still unemployed?

The rising price of gas will put the kabosh on businesses expanding and hiring. The resulting inflation will lower everyone’s standard of living.

I’m not buying it, but even if this is true, an unemployment rate of 9.8 isn’t anything to celebrate.


April 26th, 2011
11:16 am

What a joke… you actually think this is good news? I have never even taken unemployment so I am probably not even counted as unemployed despite the fact I can’t land a job to save my life.


April 26th, 2011
11:28 am

This articles fails to mention any changes in the size of the work force or the creation of LLCs. All merit is lost without all the numbers. Numbers can be played with anyway you want.


April 26th, 2011
11:44 am

One thing to keep in mind is that typically as the job market begins to ease, the % figures are misleading. People who stop looking for work are no longer counted in the figure, but when jobs begin to appear and the market eases, they begin looking again. That means they are added back to the total workforce, and that can mean that even though jobs are being created and people are going back to work, the unemployment % figure goes down more slowly.

One of the key indications of how GA is doing is the tax collections by the DOR. That has been showing a month over month and year over year improvement, and indicates that more taxes are being paid by individuals going back to work or making more, plus they are spending and paying sales taxes, while corporate taxes paid are going up due to increased profits and revenues.


April 26th, 2011
12:16 pm

Traveler, you are telling the truth, but remember you are talking to idiots who voted for a man to run our state who’s family is bankrupt, but his suppose to be able to help Georgia!


April 26th, 2011
12:26 pm

Buzz G,
Do you really think the Republican GA Labor Commissioner is an Obama plant? The federal BLS is headed by a Bush era appointee and you would think he’d be 1st in line to call out shenanigans on the numbers. Unemployment numbers are still ugly and you would think he would have tweaked them earlier to prevent the loss of the House last year. He probably could push his socialist agenda much easier if Pelosi were still in the driver’s seat. If the economy is really turning around, then you’d expect the UE #’s to look worse before they get better since more people rejoin the workforce as the economy picks up. Besides, why waste political capital putting in a fix for GA? His resources would be much better spent on cleaning up swing states. Obama could personally cajole his liberal billionaire buddies into hiring every Georgian at for a no show $100k+ and create negative unemployment and the state would still go red. I’m sure Obama’d love nothing more than full unemployment right about October but w/ 1/4 of this country still questioning his birthplace, he can’t exactly quietly sneak something like that through.

Underemployment has never been counted as part of the standard numbers and the methodology of counting unemployed has been constant for decades. I learned that back in 9th grade despite having pretty mediocre Gwinnett county teachers. Sure some former six figure earning execs may be flipping burgers now but honestly if you were good enough to demand that kind of salary, you should have been smart enough to strike out on your own or save a few bucks so you don’t have to get a McJob. Also, during the boom there were some tremendously unqualified people w/ surprisingly good jobs (my former manager included).

I know I’ve been very lucky in all of this but I’ve been able to grow my career throughout the recession and nearly tripled my salary since graduating in ‘05. The interview opportunities aren’t quite rolling in as they were pre-recession but based on my peers in the MBA program I’m finishing in a week, they are all getting very healthy offers(often multiple ones) so obviously some companies are hiring. This is in stark contrast to the dark days of ‘09 when there was only a trickle of companies coming to campus and signing bonuses were non-existent.


April 26th, 2011
12:41 pm

ObamaRama! Slow, steady, methodical.

Now you know it’s because so many people dropped out of the workforce, Henry!


April 26th, 2011
12:44 pm


April 26th, 2011
12:16 pm

I wouldn’t vote for Deal. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his performance.

Folks, the article clearly states “8,600 jobs were created.”

jd anderson

April 26th, 2011
12:58 pm

Do not believe those figures….. the drop in the rate is due to peoples benefits have run out. If one has used up their benefits of course they will not have a claimed that will be counted. Their may be jobs but their are still an astounding number of people still unemployed…..


April 26th, 2011
1:01 pm

The ONLY reason why the unemployment rate dropped is because of – yet again- seasonal jobs like Six Flags and Waterparks. Plus a lot of people that are unemployed either stopped job searching or they have exhausted their benifits…it’s still too high in the Atlanta area.


April 26th, 2011
1:35 pm

…sure are a lot of experts here who can instantly claim to know whether the numbers are true or false, as well as instantly say to what the numbers are attributed. Amazing…


April 26th, 2011
2:43 pm

My unemployment ran out a long time ago, and I am still looking. I am applying for entry level jobs despite 15 years plus of work exp. I apply online, go to job fairs, network and search company websites. I do not know what to do next.


April 26th, 2011
3:04 pm

You know, I don’t get the desire some of you have for just plain negativity and ignoring of facts. Georgia is doing worse than many other states, but things are showing demonstrable signs of improving. Just because YOU may still be unemployed or having issues doesn’t mean that is the state of everyone, everywhere.

The article states where the new jobs are being created: “mostly in leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade, professional and business services, education and health, the labor department said” so those of you claiming some conspiracy or that they are all at McDonalds are just talking out your butt.


April 26th, 2011
4:43 pm

Best wishes to you, Mary. I was looking for almost 2 1/2 years; been at my job for 16 months now. I felt the same way you do. Mine was offered as temp for 2-3 weeks; I took it to get something new on my resume, and I’m still here.
also, ditto Neil.

Bob Walters

April 27th, 2011
1:02 am

Unemployment will be back down to 5% come 2013.

Why? Because after the Tea Party sweeps elections, all the mooching off Uncle Sam stops… it’s work or starve. Let’s see how long unemployment stays high.


April 27th, 2011
11:24 pm

I can’t say this numbers are right or wrong, but my real estate business is improving! It could be a sign of recovery. :)


April 28th, 2011
7:58 am

Bob Walters
Unemployment will be back down to 5% come 2013.

Why? Because after the Tea Party sweeps elections, all the mooching off Uncle Sam stops… it’s work or starve. Let’s see how long unemployment stays high.

I hope you never lose your job dude