Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate for March was 4.5 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.6 percent in February, according to figures released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate in March 2015 was 4.8 percent.
The Metro Gainesville statistical area covers all of Hall County.
The rate declined as employers created 500 more jobs, pushing the total to 85,900, up by 0.6 percent, from 85,400 in February. Most of the increase came in the service-related industries, which includes trade, transportation and warehousing, along with state government, and the goods-producing sector, including manufacturing and construction.
Over the year, Gainesville gained 4,000 jobs, a 4.9 percent growth rate, up from 81,900 in March 2015. Most of the job gains came in the service-related industries, including retail trade and state and local government, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance was unchanged at 802 from February to March. However, over the year, claims were up by 352, or 78.2 percent, from 450 in March 2015.
Also, Gainesville’s labor force increased by 826 to 94,793.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.5 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.9 percent.