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October 31-- Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Heart of Georgia region added employed residents in September.

At the same time, the unemployment rate decreased in September across the 17-county area, preliminary numbers show.

“Georgia had an amazing month in September,” said Butler. “More than half of our regions set a record for lowest unemployment rate ever.  Many of our counties also posted similar numbers. Those are very strong results.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points in September to 3.5 percent. The nation also grew its labor force, increased the number of employed residents and added more 130,000 jobs.

Georgia’s unemployment rate also fell 0.1 percentage points in September to reach 3.5 percent.  A year ago, Georgia’s unemployment rate sat at 3.7 percent. The state’s all-time low of 3.4 percent was set in December 2000.

Rates fell across all 12 of Georgia’s planning regions. Seven set a record for lowest rates ever.

In Heart of Georgia, the unemployment rate dropped 0.7 percentage points in September, settling at 4.4 percent. A year ago, the rate was 4.4 percent.

The labor force in Heart of Georgia decreased by 609 in September, bringing the total to 116,820. The number has decreased by 36 when compared to the same month a year ago.

Heart of Georgia added 280 employed residents in September, bringing the total to 111,679. The number is up 11 for the year.

Claims for unemployment insurance were up by about 82 percent in September. They were up by about 2 percent when compared to the same month a year ago.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 612 active job postings in Heart of Georgia for September.

The Heart of Georgia region includes Appling, Bleckley, Candler, Dodge, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, Wheeler, and Wilcox counties.