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Unemployment rate drops to 4.4 percent in Hall
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The metro Gainesville area’s unemployment rate in August dipped to 4.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.5 percent in July. The rate in August 2015 was 4.7 percent.

The rate fell as employers added more jobs and laid off fewer workers.

The metro Gainesville area includes all of Hall County.

The labor force, which consists of employed people and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs, declined by 325 to 96,070 in August. The number of employed residents decreased by 219 to 91,805, while the number of unemployed residents fell by 106 to 4,265.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate in the state.

The number of jobs increased by 1,000, or 1.2 percent, to 87,400. Most of the job gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing, along with state and local government as the public schools reopened for the new school year.

Over the year, Gainesville gained 2,800 jobs, a 3.3 percent growth rate, up from 84,600 in August 2015. Most of the job gains came in the service industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 392, or 43.9 percent, to 501 in August. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing, administrative and support services, transportation and warehousing, and accommodations and food services. Over the year, claims were up by 207, or 70.4 percent, from 294 in August 2015.