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Metro Albany jobless rate dips to 8 percent

Unemployment rate for Southwest Georgia region declines to 7.9 percent

(Source: Georgia Department of Labor)

(Source: Georgia Department of Labor)

ALBANY — The unemployment rate for both Metro Albany and Southwest Georgia declined by two-tenths of a percentage point in February, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The rate for Metro Albany was 8 percent, down from the 8.2 percent posted in January and further down from the rate of 9.3 reported in February a year ago.

For the city of Albany, the February rate was 9.1 percent, down from 9.4 percent in January and 1.2 percent lower than February 2013. Of the 34 cities listed in the report, Roswell had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.2 percent while East Point had the highest at 10.9 percent.

Labor officials said Albany employers created 300 jobs and reduced the number of layoffs by 24.9 percent. The number of jobs increased to 60,800 in February, up 0.5 percent over January. The job gains came mostly in state government. Year over year, the number of jobs increased by 200, with most of the increase coming in retail trade and the goods-producing section, which includes manufacturing and construction.

Athens had the lowest metro area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while Dalton had the highest of the state’s 13 MSAs at 9.1 percent.

For the counties in the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, the rate for February was 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in January and lower than the 8.8 percent in February 2013. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest for the 12 regions at 9.7 percent, while Georgia Mountains had the lowest, 6.1 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.