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Hall jobless rate down to 4.9 percent, still best in Georgia
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Hall County continues to lead the state in putting people into jobs.

Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in March, the Georgia Department of Labor announced today, marking the third straight month the area posted the state's lowest jobless rate.

The rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from 5.1 percent in February. The rate in March 2014 was 5.9 percent.

The rate declined as the number of unemployed residents fell by 159 to 4,480 from 4,639 in February, partially because employers laid off fewer workers, the Labor Department reported.

There were 139, or 23.6 percent, fewer new claims for unemployment insurance filed in March, as the number declined to 450 from 589 in February. Most of the decrease in claims came in manufacturing and construction. Over the year, claims were down by 117, or 20.6 percent, from 567 filed in March 2014.

The number of jobs in Gainesville was unchanged at 82,200 from February to March. However, there was an over-the-year gain of 3,600 jobs, or 4.6 percent, from 78,600 in March 2014. Most of the job growth came in the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, along with retail trade and the federal government.

The jobless rate in the Georgia Mountains region for March was 5.2 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 5.4 percent in February. The rate in March 2014 was 6.2 percent.

The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the state's highest area rate at 7.8 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 6.3 percent, unchanged from February. It was 7.3 percent in March 2014.