April 1-- The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region’s unemployment rate declined to 11.2 percent in February, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 11.9 percent in January. The rate was 11.8 percent in February a year ago.
The rate declined because of two factors -- there were 662 fewer new layoffs, and the labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for a job, decreased by 2,112.
The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell to 1,735 in February, down from 2,397 in January. The decreases came mostly in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and warehousing, and administrative and support services. And, the number of initial claims was down over-the-year by 567 from 2,302 in February 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in the same industries as the monthly decline.
Also, the region’s labor force declined to 124,654, down from 126,766 in January. The labor force totaled 126,207 in February 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in January. The rate was 9.2 percent in February a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us