The economy brought a bit of bright news Thursday as the unemployment rate in metro Gainesville fell to an unadjusted rate of 8.7 percent in March, down from 8.8 in February, the Georgia Department of Labor reported.
The jobless rate was 4.4 percent at this time last year.
The Georgia Mountains region jobless rate remains at 9.1 percent, unchanged from February.
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.1 percent but is 3.9 percentage points higher than at this time last year.
Gainesville’s rate is below the state’s unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, which was unchanged from February to March.
The U.S. jobless rate is 8.5 percent.
Georgia added 3.000 new jobs in March, its first increase since last October. Most of those jobs were created in the retail and hospitality industries.
There are 444,758 Georgians seeking work, up 64.1 percent from last year. Of those, 172,947, 39.1 percent, are receiving unemployment benefits.