Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate drops to 8.7 percent

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.

29 comments Add your comment

A. S. Mathew

April 26th, 2012
6:02 am

The whole truth about the employment situation is unknown to us, but simply making headlines.
How many of the employed are in full time and part-time? What about the thousands of high school and college graduates who were not employed at all for the last four or more years?


April 26th, 2012
6:28 am

If the stats are true, it’s good news for those seeking jobs.
The good ole days are gone. Finding a job these days is going to take more than filling out applications.
The people vote Dim one election, GOP the next. Decide who you are and vote that way. If you treat elections like beauty contests, this is the result.
There’s a spiritual need as well–hope you can read between the lines on that one…


April 26th, 2012
6:38 am

employees need to unionize to stop these layoffs—enough is enough. With threats of strikes and shutdowns, employers will have to keep workers on the payroll!!

Fred ™

April 26th, 2012
6:49 am

If you build it they will come………


April 26th, 2012
7:13 am

Yeah, Billy, pray the jobs back. That’s a great idea. I’m sure that’ll work.


April 26th, 2012
7:21 am

As far as Georgia history goes, republicans have no business in this state. Period.

Mary A

April 26th, 2012
7:52 am

The numbers are FAKE if you have half the sense the God gave you then you would know. And those that are back to work are underemployed and those that made it through all this with their jobs haven’t had raises, bonuses etc. in four years. I have friends at IBM, Coke, Pepsi and DSWaters and they all say they were told if you want to keep you job you will either not get a raise or you will take this paycut to keep your job.

Mary A

April 26th, 2012
7:52 am

That was suppose to say your job, sorry for the typo…drinking second cup of


April 26th, 2012
8:17 am

Why doesn’t someone start counting the people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and cannot get a job, and the number of people who are on public assistance because they cannot find work, and the kids out of college living with their parents because they can’t find work. This number that everyone seems so proud of is so highly understated it is grotesque!


April 26th, 2012
8:19 am

@Mary A, and don’t forget all the CEO’s at these companies have been getting their raises and bonuses all 4 of those years!

Nicholas J

April 26th, 2012
9:02 am

I find it amazing that so many people try to discredit the unemployment data. Is it perfect? Of course not. Are there variables that simply cannot be measured. Well sure there are. But the point is that it is a good compass to show general economic growth or retraction. It has proven itself over and over again. When it is low or around its old average of 5%, the economy is roaring and people are doing great. When it is as high as it is now, times are tight. Were there people who had stopped looking for a job during the 5% times? Of course. Were they counted? No, because they’re not included in the calculation but does that discredit the general view of what the unemployment numbers are showing us? Of course not.


April 26th, 2012
9:06 am

there are no good jobs out there—I send out a bunch of resumes and don’t even hear back. the only jobs are dead end positions working with morons in retail. Hopefully they extend unemployment benefits an extra year.


April 26th, 2012
9:16 am

The truth hurts Republicans, so they say the numbers are lies. Economy is getting better with Obama in the White House..and they said it could not be done under his leadership.

Right the numbers are not true. Neither are the numbers on Wall Street. Right?

Maurice Caradine

April 26th, 2012
9:39 am

Atlanta popuation countines to grow by the day thats why our unemployment rate is above average if people were smart they would stay away then let jobs open up. Why would you come to a state with the highest unemployment rate.


April 26th, 2012
10:04 am

2014 is the magic year as the job force will be more contract workers as everyone will have to have health care on their own as companys shed workers to escape paying for their health care so get ready as the real shake up is soon to come as many people are put out the door to be rehired as a contractor with no benefits so corporations can escape cost


April 26th, 2012
10:09 am

The common corporate practice is to create some financial metrics at the beginning of the fiscal year. The bonus of the CEOs and VPs are dependent on meeting those metrics. When the 3rd quarter comes to a close and the financials aren’t looking too good, they start cutting “expenses” in order to help them get their bonuses. I think that we all know by now that cutting “expenses” means laying people off. It sucks.


April 26th, 2012
10:15 am

What they FAIL to mention is that now that extended unemployment benefits are unavailable to many Georgians due to the State of Georgia’s mismanagement and oversite during the housing boom years the data is skewed rendering this report pretty irrelevant.

Metro Atlanta

April 26th, 2012
10:25 am

[...] 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). Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate drops to 8.7 percent | The Biz Beat [...]

Had enough!

April 26th, 2012
10:46 am

As long as the state Labor Commissioner Butler is allowed to use the “Seasonally Adjusted” method the commissioner can make the numbers read whatever he wants it to be!

Butch Cassidy

April 26th, 2012
10:55 am

onechris – “the real shake up is soon to come as many people are put out the door to be rehired as a contractor with no benefits so corporations can escape cost”

Really? Have you ever worked at a job that didn’t involve a name tag and the phrase “paper or plastic”? Companies can’t arbitrarly re-assign employees to contractor status unless they meet the criteria as designated under both I.R.S. regulations and the FLSA ( Fair Labor Standards Act). Trust me, it would be 10 times more expensive to have to pay the fines, penalties, back wages and taxes for misclassification of employees than it would be to simply either provide the benefits, or have the employees attain them through the state exchanges.

Please, learn how the business world works before posting again.


April 26th, 2012
11:15 am

Why do we discredit the validity of the unemployment rate? Because its a lie! Almost everyone acknowledges that this is true, and the only issue that’s open for debate is exactly what the ‘real’ number is. Some say people working part time jobs who would rather have a full-time position should be counted. Others say unemployed recent high school & college graduates should also be counted. But the fact that people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits ‘roll off’ the work force numbers and are no longer counted just boggles the mind. How could these unemployed people’s situation get any worse, and yet they no longer count toward the unemployment rate! Who government employee thought of that?


April 26th, 2012
11:23 am

Butch Cassidy gave ol’ onechrissy a beat down…… well they should. Most posts on the blog don’t understand how business works. A really good one was the post from “Union”. Looks like the postal union is doing a great job for the USPS……LOL!!


April 26th, 2012
11:45 am

I love how undeniably positive news turns into an argument about the validity of economic statistics. Sheesh people take a deep breath and be happy for once. The metric may not be perfect but it’s consistently calculated the same way for a reason.


April 26th, 2012
11:46 am

Now the neo-cons will try to say that the Bush tax cuts are finally stimulating the economy.

Native Atlantan

April 26th, 2012
11:52 am

@Mary A — that’s total BS from an IBM perspective.


April 26th, 2012
12:39 pm

@union, you’re an absolute jack leg! Unions are in large part responsible for the loss of jobs in this country. Ever wonder why unions never invest their members dues monies in the companies their members work for? Take some risk with the employers your members work for and perhaps then your empty arguments will have some teeth.

This article fails to mention the 150,00 unemployed in this state that just fell out of the statistical database as of April 21 when the final tier of Federally funded extensions came to an end. Georgia joined many other States who no longer have the final tier because the State unemployment rate has fallen below a preordained level set by Congress. Of course the numbers will look better when that many people are suddenly no longer a part of the statistics!

A. S. Mathew

April 26th, 2012
5:51 pm

In the associated press job survey, 54% of the college graduates under the age of 25 are not employed or underemployed. Most of them who got a job are working like cashiers-waiters etc. The Federal government is cutting billions of dollars from the budget which will take off millions of jobs, like the companies are cutting everywhere to save money. This tightening of money will in the long run create more unemployment.

Bob Walters

April 27th, 2012
1:52 am

The unemployment rate won’t be heading lower until we get Romney in the White House. So long as Obama keeps mailing out checks to people for doing nothing, there’s no incentive to work.

There are plenty of jobs available. Once Obama care is repealed, twenty-something’s won’t be able to free-load on their parents’ health care policies. That should provide some incentive to go to work. If parents want their kids to find a job, they need to stop sheltering them as if they were still babies. Tell them to hit the street; sink or swim.

Many of Romney’s priorities to create jobs are to simply get rid of the disincentives to job creation that government has created. For example:

1. end unemployment and food stamps (no more food stamp presidents!!!)
1. repeal the Federal minimum wage laws
2. repeal Obama care
3. repeal Fed labor laws that protect job killing unions
4. shut down OSHA
5. cut taxes for job creators
6. eliminate corporate taxes
7. eliminate capital gains taxes
8. eliminate inheritance taxes (dreaded death tax)

Unfortunately, we have to wait until Jan 2013 inauguration before Romney can take charge. Until then it’s anyone’s guess how much more Obama can screw up this economy.

Tea Party 2012 !!


April 27th, 2012
8:03 am

only 8.7% unemployment this month??? YeS!!!! That means the recession must be over!!! YES!! The economic people in DC–genius!!! YES!!!!