The metro Gainesville unemployment rate decreased to 5.6 percent in February, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.9 percent in January, Georgia Department of Labor announced today.
The rate in the area, which includes all of Hall County, was 6.9 percent in February a year ago.
The rate declined because employers created 800 new jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs by 27 percent, the DOL reported.
The number of jobs increased to 77,200 in February, up 1.1 percent, from 76,400 in January. The job gains came mostly in government and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 1,400, or 1.9 percent, from 75,800 in February 2013. Most of the increase came in trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with local government and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
There were 226 fewer new layoffs, as the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 611 from 837 in January. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, trade, transportation, and warehousing, and administrative and support services. There were 656 claims in February 2013.
The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains region fell to 6.1 percent in February, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in January. It was 7.6 percent in February 2013.
Across Georgia, Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.7 percent.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.