published Monday, April 18th, 2011

Georgia jobless rate drops to 10 percent in March

Unemployment fell last month in Georgia by two-tenths of a percent to 10 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor reported today.

But the jobless rate in the Peach State was still well above the U.S. unemployment rate in March of 8.8 percent. Last month as the 42nd consecutive month that unemployment in Georgia was higher than the U.S. average.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today he was encouraged that Georgia continued to add jobs in March and last month’s the unemployment rate was below the year-ago level.

“The drop in the unemployment rate is encouraging, but I’m more pleased that we’ve now had two consecutive months of job growth, coupled with fewer layoffs,” Butler said. “It appears that employers are growing more confident that our economy is improving.”

The 3.8 million jobs in Georgia during March was up 15,600, or four-tenths of a percentage point, from February. Statewide, 60 percent of the new jobs were added in leisure and hospitality last month, including 7,000 at eating and drinking establishments.

Jobs were also added in manufacturing, the wholesale of electronic equipment, the design of computer systems, transportation and warehousing, educational services, and administrative and support services.

Over the past year, employment in Georgia has grown by 11,500 jobs, or 0.3 percent, Butler said.

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