From Staff Reports
Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate declined to 11 percent in February, down from 11.9 percent in January, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate was 12.4 percent in February 2012.
Metro Dalton is Whitfield and Murray counties.
The rate declined because there were more than 600 fewer unemployed people and there was a significant drop in the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed by newly laid-off workers.
The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell by 2,883 from 4,362 in January to 1,479 in February. The decreases came mostly in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, warehousing, administrative and support services. The number of initial claims was down over the year by 333 from 1,812 in February 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in the same industries as the monthly decline.
The number of jobs in metro Dalton increased to 62,900 from 62,800 in January. Most of the growth came in federal and state government. However over the year, jobs were down by 100 from 63,000 in February 2012.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in January. The rate was 9.2 percent in February 2012.