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Unemployment hits 8.4 percent in metro Savannah
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ATLANTA — State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in metro Savannah rose to 8.4 percent in April, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.3 percent in March. The rate was also 8.4 percent in April 2011.

The rate increased because there were 359 new layoffs in April. They came in transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, finance and insurance, and manufacturing.

Unemployment in Effingham County was at 7.6 percent for April.

The preliminary unemployment rate in the Coastal Georgia area was unchanged at 8.8 percent from March to April. The jobless rate in the Coastal area in April a year ago was also 8.8 percent.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent. Oconee County had the lowest unemployment at 5.5 percent while Jenkins County, at 18.9 percent, had the highest jobless rate.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent, the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below nine percent. The rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in March. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.

Statewide, the rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January of 2009. Job growth is up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,894,100 in March. In April a year ago, there were 3,904,400 jobs.

The industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700. While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.

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