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December 28--  The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region declined to 10.6 percent in November, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 11 percent in October. The rate was 11.3 percent in November 2011.

The rate declined because of fewer new layoffs, represented by first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits. There were 1,377 fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services. 

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.2 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.5 percent in November, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in October. The rate was 9.5 percent in November a year ago.

Statewide, there were 3,984,000 jobs in November, up 9,600, or two-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,974,400 in October. Over the year, Georgia gained 61,900 jobs, or 1.6 percent, from 3,922,100 in November 2011.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us