ATLANTA — Metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate declined in February, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday
The February rate was 8.8 percent, down 0.5 percent from 9.3 percent in January. The rate was 9.4 percent in February a year ago.
The rate declined because the number of jobs increased and there were fewer new layoffs, which were represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits.
The number of jobs in metro Hinesville increased by 200 to 19,800 from 19,600 in January. Most of the growth came in the service-related industries and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
Metro Hinesville added 400 jobs, or 2.1 percent, from 19,400 in February 2012. Most of the growth was in the goods-producing sector, service industries and local government.
The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell by 140 from 297 in January to 157 in February. The decreases came mostly in construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services. Also, the number of initial claims was down by 62 from 219 in February 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in the same industries as the monthly decline.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in January. The rate was 9.2 percent in February a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.