Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate for February went up to 4.6 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than it was in January. The rate in February 2015 was 5.1 percent.
Metro Gainesville includes all of Hall County in the statistics released by the Georgia Department of Labor.
The rate rose because the number of unemployed residents increased by 192, as the labor force increased by 828.
At the same time, the number of jobs in Gainesville increased by 1,100, or 1.3 percent, to 85,600 from 84,500 in January. Most of the increase came in the private service-related industries, along with local government and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
Over the year, Gainesville gained 4,300 jobs, a 5.3 percent growth rate, up from 81,300 in February 2015. Most of the job gains came in the service-related industries, retail trade, local government and the goods-producing sector.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 167, or 17.2 percent, to 802 in February. Most of the decrease came in construction, administrative and support services, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and arts, entertainment and recreation. However, over the year, claims were up by 213, or 36.2 percent, from 589 in February 2015.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.6 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha and River Valley regions had the highest at 7.1 percent.