4:49 am March 29, 2012, by Henry Unger
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in February, from a revised 9.1 percent in January, the state labor department said Thursday.
A year ago, metro Atlanta’s jobless rate was 9.9 percent.
The rate declined because there were fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, trade and administrative and support services, the labor department said.
Among the core metro counties, Gwinnett had the lowest rate at 8 percent. Cobb was next with 8.4 percent, followed by DeKalb (9.4 percent), Fulton (9.8 percent) and Clayton (11.4 percent).
The city of Atlanta’s jobless rate was 11.3 percent in February, down from 11.7 percent in January and 12.3 percent a year ago.
Last week, the labor department reported that Georgia’s unemployment rate fell for the seventh straight month to 9.1 percent. It matched the lowest rate since March 2009.
Still, both the local and state unemployment rates remain considerably higher than the national rate of 8.3 percent.
Statewide, the rate went down because the number of jobs in February increased by 15,600 from January, reaching a total of 3,880,400. Over the past 12 months, the state gained 41,800 jobs.
The employment sectors showing growth over the year were: professional and business services, 28,000 jobs; retail trade, 12,700; education and health care, 8,300; and manufacturing, 4,200.
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