ALBANY -- While some counties in Southwest Georgia still have an unemployment rate higher than the state's, seasonal hires have helped the numbers decrease somewhat.
The Georgia Department of Labor announced earlier this week that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Albany had decreased to 10.4 percent in October, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 10.8 percent in September.
The jobless rate in metro Albany in October a year ago was 10.8 percent.
The rate declined because there were fewer layoffs in retail trade and manufacturing, Labor Department officials said.
Meanwhile, the rate for the Southwest Georgia region as a whole decreased to 9.9 percent in October, down from a 10.3 percent rate the previous month. In October 2010, the Southwest Georgia unemployment rate was 10.2 percent.
In a county-by-county breakdown of unemployment rates for October, Dougherty was at 11.7 percent, Worth at 9.5 percent, Lee at 7.6 percent, Terrell at 11.9 percent and Baker at 9.8 percent.
Metro Athens had the lowest area rate for October at 7.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.
By region, the highest rate, at 12.1 percent, was recorded in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region near Dublin. The lowest was in the Georgia Mountains region at 8.7 percent.
Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in October, down from 10.3 percent in September. The rate dropped because Georgia added 26,500 jobs, boosting the number of jobs to 3.82 million from the 3.79 million jobs available in September.
While growth came in several sectors, 12,200 of the jobs came from early hiring in retail, transportation and warehousing as employers prepared for the holiday season.
October is the 51st consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9 percent.