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October 25-- The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha area declined to 10.9 percent in September, down 1.2 percent from a revised 12.1 percent in August. The rate was 12.2 percent in September 2011.

The rate declined primarily because there were 974 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, trade, administrative and support services, educational services, and health care and social assistance.  Also, there were 1,725 fewer people unemployed. 

Metro Athens continued to have the lowest area jobless rate at 6.4 percent, while metro Dalton  had the highest at 11.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 9.0 percent in September, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in August. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in September a year ago.

While the state lost 400 jobs from August to September, it actually gained 61,800 jobs since the 3,877,600 in September of 2011, climbing to 3,939,400. 

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at