ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia region decreased to 7.2 percent in February, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 7.5 percent in January. The rate was 8.6 percent in February a year ago.
The preliminary unemployment rate in Effingham County for February was 5.9 percent, down from the January mark of 6.1 percent. Unemployment in Effingham in February 2013 was 7.1 percent.
The rate declined because there were 1,693, or 49.7 percent, fewer new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance. There were 1,711 new claims filed in February, down from 3,404 in January. Most of the decline in claims came in trade, transportation, and warehousing, administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, and construction and manufacturing.
There were 2,244 claims in February 2013.
Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.6 percent in February, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.9 percent in January. The rate was 7.9 percent in February a year ago.
The rate declined because Savannah employers created 1,600 new jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs by 53.8 percent.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.