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Gainesville's jobless rate rises to 10.1 percent, state reports
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Unemployment in Hall County keeps rising, up to 10.1 percent in February according to data released today by The Georgia Department of Labor.

The preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Gainesville rose to 10.1 percent, up two-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 9.9 percent in January. The number of unemployed workers in the area increased to 8,857, up 121 from 8,736 in January, the state reports.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a record 10.5 percent in February, up from 10.4 percent in January. It marks the 29th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the nation jobless rate of 9.7 percent.

The jobless rate in metro Gainesville in February 2009 was 8.8 percent.

This February, 1,150 laid-off workers in Gainesville filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a decrease of 594, or 34.1 percent, from 1,744 in January. There was a decrease of 756, or 39.7 percent, from 1,906 claims filed in February 2009.

Statewide 66,069 laid-off workers filed initial claims, a decrease of 29,195, or 30.6 percent from 95,264 in January. And, there was a decline of 20,450, or 23.6 percent, from 86,519 claims filed in February 2009.

Most of the first-time claims filed were in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.

Other jobless rates rose in the region as well. The Georgia Mountains region recorded a 10.4 percent jobless rate in February, up from 10.2 percent; and 8.4 percent in Athens, up from 8.3 percent. The metro Atlanta rate of 10.5 percent remained steady, as did the 10.6 percent jobless rate in the Northeast Georgia region.

"Georgia's job market has reached a critical inflection point," State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said . "Stabilizing unemployment rates and significant declines in new layoffs suggest that we are on the threshold of sustainable job growth."

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available online.