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Metro jobless rate falls to 9 percent in February
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ATLANTA—State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the metro Savannah area declined to 9.0 percent in February, down two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.2 percent in January. The jobless rate in the metro Savannah area in February 2010 was also 9.2 percent.

The rate declined because the number of jobs increased by 800 and there were fewer layoffs in construction, retail trade, and administrative and support services.

Unemployment for Effingham County for February was at 8.6 percent.

Unemployment rates decreased in 20 of the state’s 25 local areas, with five area rates remaining unchanged.  At 7.7 percent, metro Athens recorded the state’s lowest rate, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.2 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 10.2 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point, from a revised 10.3 percent in January. The state’s jobless rate was also 10.3 percent in February 2010.

Unemployment was lowest in Oconee County, where it stood at 6.7 percent. Hancock County had the highest jobless rate at 24.2 percent.

February marked the 41st consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 8.9 percent.