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Local jobless rate falls to 6.9 percent
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The preliminary unemployment rate in metro Gainesville declined to 6.9 percent in April to its lowest level since November 2008 when it was 6.6 percent, the state Labor Department announced today.

The rate was 7.2 percent in March and 7.8 percent in April 2011.

The rate decreased as the number of new jobs grew by 500 to 78,300, the highest number of jobs in metro Gainesville since September 2008, when 78,300 was also recorded. Also, there were fewer layoffs in manufacturing industries.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent, the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below nine percent. The rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in March. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.

Statewide, the rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January of 2009. Job growth is up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,894,100 in March. In April a year ago, there were 3,904,400 jobs.

The industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700. While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.

The preliminary jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains area dropped to 7.5 percent in April to its lowest level since December 2008 when it was 7.3 percent. The rate was 7.7 percent in March and 8.2 percent in April 2011.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Regional events