Construction workers from PCL Construction work Thursday afternoon near the base of a pier of the Broad Avenue Bridge.
ATLANTA ALBANY — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Albany declined to 9.2 percent in November, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.3 percent in October.
The rate was 9.8 percent in November 2011. GDOL officials say the rate declined because of job growth and fewer new layoffs, which are indicated by first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits.
Economic development officials said the numbers are a sign of an improving economy and hope that the trend will continue.
“If you look back, we’ve seen a trend of decreases in unemployment going back to June. It’s something that we hope will continue on into the new year,” Justin Strickland, vice president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission said. “That’s why we come to work every morning, to help businesses expand and to bring new ones here so that people can find work.”
In November, 500 new jobs were added in metro Albany. There were 60,000 total jobs in November, up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 59,500 total jobs in October, Labor Department officials report.
GDOL analysts said that the growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, which accounted for 400 of the new jobs. State government employment accounted for the other 100 job increase.
There were also 75 fewer new claims for unemployment benefits in construction, manufacturing and retail trade, GDOL officials said.
Metro Athens had the lowest metro area jobless rate at 6.2 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.5 percent in November, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in October. The rate was 9.5 percent in November a year ago.
Statewide, there were 3,984,000 jobs in November, up 9,600, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,974,400 in October. Over the year, Georgia gained 61,900 jobs, or 1.6 percent, from 3,922,100 in November 2011.