ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate decreased to 8 percent in February, down 0.3 percent from 8.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.9 percent in February a year ago.
The rate declined because Hinesville employers reduced the number of new layoffs by 39.7 percent and created 100 new jobs.
There were 138 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in February, a drop of 91 from 229 in January. Most of the decline in claims came in administrative and support services, trade, transportation, warehousing, and accommodations and food services. There were 157 claims in February 2013.
The number of jobs increased to 19,700 in February, up 0.5 percent, from 19,600 in January. The job gains came mostly in the service-related industries.
Over the year, the number of jobs decreased by 200, or 1 percent, from 19,900 in February 2013. Most of the decrease came with the federal government.
Metro Athens had the lowest area unemployment rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest rate at 9.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.