The unemployment rate in the Gainesville metropolitan area remained unchanged at 4.4 percent from August to September, the lowest in Georgia, according to figures released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.
But that’s due in part to a shrinking local labor force, which actually decreased by 229 to 96,039 last month as many unemployed quit looking for work altogether.
In fact, both the number of employed and unemployed decreased in September.
The Gainesville metropolitan area gained about 1,800 jobs between September 2015 and 2016, a 2.1 percent increase, bringing the total number of employed to 86,600.
In Gainesville, the number of claims for unemployment insurance pay fell to 436 from 691 year-over-year, a 37 percent drop. The statewide average decrease was just 9.4 percent.
Across Georgia, 87,500 remained in the long-term unemployed category last month, with nearly 250,000 residents without a job.
The state unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in September, up from 4.9 percent in August.
The Department of Labor said an influx of jobseekers into labor force pushed Georgia’s jobless rate slightly higher.