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Jobless rate holds steady

POSTED: May 22, 2014 7:14 p.m.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced that Effingham County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in April, holding steady at March’s 5.5 percent level.

Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.2 percent in April, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 6.7 percent in March. The rate was 7.1 percent in April a year ago.

The rate declined because Metro Savannah employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers.

The number of jobs increased to 164,900 in April, up by 1,900, or 1.2 percent, from 163,000 in March. Most of the job gains came in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation, and warehousing, professional and business services, and other service-related industries.

Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 3,200, or 2.0 percent, from 161,700 jobs in April 2013. The big job gainers were the same as those over the month.

Also, there were 906 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in April, a drop of 355, or 28.2 percent, from 1,261 in March. Most of the decline in claims came in transportation and warehousing. There were 1,878 claims filed in April 2013.

The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region decreased to 6.7 percent in April, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 7.2 percent in March. The rate was 7.8 percent in April a year ago.

The rate declined because 1,074 more people were employed in April than in March while employers also laid off fewer workers.

There were 1,562 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, in April, a drop 361, or 18.8 percent, from 1,923 in March. Most of the decline in claims came in transportation and warehousing. There were 3,349 claims filed in April 2013.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.9 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent, unchanged from March. The rate was 8.3 percent in April a year ago.

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