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Metro Gainesvilles jobless rate down to 7.2 percent
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ATLANTA — The unemployment rate in the metro Gainesville area fell to 7.2 percent in March, down three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 7.5 percent in February, Georgia Department of Labor announced today.

The jobless rate in metro Gainesville, which includes all of Hall County, was 8.5 percent in March 2011.

The rate dropped because there were fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, trade and administrative and support services, the Labor Department said.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.7 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.6 percent.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in March for the eighth consecutive month to 9.0 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009, when it was 8.9 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in February. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in March a year ago.

Georgia's rate fell because the number of jobs in March increased by 13,900 to 3,894,900. Also, revised numbers show the state gained 35,600 jobs in the past 12 months.

The employment sectors showing growth since March of 2011 were: professional and business services, 28,900; trade and transportation, 10,700; education and health services, 7,900; manufacturing, 5,900; and leisure and hospitality, 1,200.

The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains region fell to 7.7 percent in March, down from a revised 8.1 percent in February. The area's rate in March a year ago was 8.7 percent.

Georgia labor market data are available at

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