Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate declined to 10.3 percent in March, down from 11 percent in February, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate was 11.8 percent in March 2012.
Metro Dalton is Whitfield and Murray counties.
The rate declined because of an increase in the number of jobs and fewer new layoffs.
The number of jobs in metro Dalton increased to 63,100, up by 200 from 62,900 in February. Most of the growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, along with professional and business services.
The number of new layoffs, which were represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, fell by 375 from 1,479 in February to 1,104 in March. The decreases came mostly in manufacturing, construction and administrative and support services. And, the number of initial claims was down over-the-year by 140 from 1,244 in March 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in the same industries as the monthly decline.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.9 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 8.4 percent, down from 8.6 percent in February. The rate was 9.1 percent in March a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us