ATLANTA, Ga. — The April unemployment rate for the five-county metro Albany area was down slightly from March, dropping from 9.6 percent to 9.5 percent, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced Thursday.
The April number is the lowest for metro Albany since May 2009, when the rate was 8.9 percent, labor officials said. In April 2011, the rate was 9.9 percent.
Lee County had the lowest rate for the metro area at 7.3 percent, while Terrell County’s was the highest at 10.7 percent. Dougherty County’s rate was 10.5 percent, Worth County’s 8.3 percent and Baker County’s 8 percent.
Mitchell and Colquitt counties had an 8.9 percent rate, while Calhoun was at 10.1 percent. The Southwest Georgia region’s best showing was Miller County, which had a 6 percent jobless rate.
For Southwest Georgia, the regional jobless rate was unchanged from March to April at 9 percent, a half-percent improvement from April 2011.
The rate decreased in metro Albany as the number of new jobs grew by 300 to 59,200, the highest number of jobs in metro Albany since 59,600 in November 2011, labor officials said. Also, there were fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and administrative and support services.
Metro Athens had the lowest metro area rate at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent, the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below nine percent. The rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in March. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.
Statewide, the rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January of 2009. Job growth is up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,894,100 in March. In April a year ago, there were 3,904,400 jobs.
Labor officials said the industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and health care, 2,700. While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.