The unemployment rate in the 13-county Georgia Mountains region fell again in February as the labor force expanded and new jobs were filled.
Like the Gainesville metropolitan area, the Georgia Mountains region saw a spike in the jobless rate in January but a dip in February.
The rate climbed 0.7 percentage points in January but then fell by 0.4 percentage points in February, settling at 3.4 percent.
A year ago, the rate was 3.7 percent.
The Georgia Mountains region includes Hall, Dawson, Forsyth, Habersham, White, Lumpkin, Banks, Franklin, Hart, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union counties.
“These early numbers look very solid,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a press release. “We are seeing communities add workers and grow their labor force. It’s looking like we can expect a very productive year in terms of job creation and hiring.”
Nationally, the rate for February was 3.8 percent.
Similarly, the Gainesville metropolitan area’s jobless rate is now 3.2 percent following a 0.3 percentage point increase over the first two months of 2019.
It was 2.9 percent in December and 3.5 percent in January.
The Georgia Mountains region ended February with 337,792 employed residents.
The number of unemployment claims fell in February by 39 percent, and 9 percent year-over-year, after a 73 percent jump in January.
Local unemployment rates
- Gainesville metro: 3.2 percent
- Georgia Mountains (13 counties): 3.4 percent