Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in March, as employers laid off fewer workers in a wide swath of industries, the state labor department said Thursday.
The jobless rate dropped from 9 percent in February and from 9.6 percent a year ago.
Employers in construction, manufacturing, trade and administrative and support services laid off fewer workers, the labor department said.
Among the core metro counties, Gwinnett is doing considerably better than the regional average. Its jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in March. Cobb had the next lowest rate at 8.1 percent, followed by DeKalb (9.1 percent), Fulton (9.4 percent) and Clayton (10.7 percent).
The city of Atlanta is still experiencing higher than average rates. Its unemployment rate was 10.8 percent in March, down from 11.3 percent in February and 11.8 percent a year ago.
Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate declined in March for the eighth consecutive month to 9 percent.
The Georgia and metro Atlanta rates continue to be higher than the national jobless rate, currently 8.2 percent. But the gap has been shrinking recently.
Statewide, the rate fell because the number of jobs in March increased by 13,900 to 3,894,900.
Over the past year, the state gained 35,600 jobs. Growing sectors included professional and business services, trade and transportation, education and health services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality.