Eva Ealey searches for information concerning veterans Thursday at the Georgia Department of Labor office on South Slappey Boulevard in Albany. Unemployment rates in April were down in metro Albany and the Southwest Georgia region compared to March numbers. (may 23, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Albany’s unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent in April, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in March.
The rate was 9.2 percent in April a year ago. The rate declined as the number of jobs in metro Albany increased to 61,200, up 200 from the previous month. Most of the growth came in retail trade and state government, officials say.
The total jobs number was unchanged from April 2012, Labor Department officials said.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department also announced that the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region had declined to 8.2 percent in April, down two-tenths of a percentage point from March’s rate.
While the recent decline is a positive sign, it may be too early celebrate.
“It’s good to see that the unemployment rate is declining, but the labor force is still shrinking. Therefore, (the figures) might be a little misleading,” said Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of economics at Darton State College.
The regional rate was 8.8 percent in April 2012.
In a county-by-county breakdown of metro Albany unemployment rates for April, Dougherty was at 9.5 percent, Worth at 7.8 percent, Lee at 6.8 percent, Terrell at 8.5 percent and Baker at 8.4 percent.
All but one of the 14 metro areas in the state saw a decline over the past month. Dalton had the highest rate at 10.2 percent, and Athens had the lowest at 5.6 percent. All of the state’s 11 regions saw a decline, with the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region having the highest rate at 10.3 percent and the Georgia Mountains region with the lowest at 6.9 percent.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 8.2 percent, down from 8.4 percent in March. The rate was 9.1 percent in April 2012.