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Jobless rate unchanged in metro Savannah
Unemployment up in Effingham
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ATLANTA—The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Savannah was unchanged at 8.4 percent from April to May. The rate was 8.5 percent in May 2011.

The unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area also remained the same from April to May, at 8.8 percent. The rate was 9.0 percent in May 2011.

Unemployment in Effingham County stood at 8 percent for preliminary May figures, up from 7.6 percent in April. The May 2011 jobless rate in Effingham was 8.3 percent.

Metro Athens had the lowest jobless area rate at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent. Athens has had the lowest area rate, or tied for the lowest, each month since December 2009. Dalton has had the highest area rate since August 2011.

Oconee County, at 5.5 percent, had the lowest unemployment rate among the state’s 159 counties. Thirty counties have jobless rates of less than 8 percent. Jenkins County had the highest unemployment rate at 18.2 percent. Unemployment is 10 percent or higher in 67 counties in the state.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.9 percent from April to May. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in May a year ago. The number of jobs in the state grew to 3,944,900 in May, up by 16,400 from April and by 34,000 from May a year ago.

In metro Savannah, jobs were unchanged at 150,900 from April to May, but were down by 2,600 from May a year ago.