ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Hinesville’s unemployment rate for March was 5.9 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from February. The rate in March 2015 was 6.3 percent.
The rate declined as the number of employed residents increased by 208 to 30,375, and the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 15, or 10.1 percent, to 134. Most of the decrease came in health care and social assistance, and construction. However, over the year, claims were up by 17, or 14.5 percent, from 117 in March 2015.
The number of jobs was unchanged at 19,700 from February to March, but was down by 100, or 0.5 percent, from 19,800 in March 2015. Most of the annual job loss came in the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
Also, the labor force in Metro Hinesville, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as Liberty and Long counties and Fort Stewart, increased by 181 to 32,270.
In Coastal Georgia, a 10-county region that includes Liberty and Long, the unemployment rate for March was 5.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from February. The rate in March 2015 was 5.8 percent.
The rate declined as the number of employed residents increased by 2,132 to 302,425.
At the same time, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 55, or 4.1 percent, to 1,410 in March. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and accommodations and food services. However, over the year, claims were down by 193, or 12 percent, from 1,603 in March 2015.
Coastal Georgia’s labor force increased by 1,693 to 319,457.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.5 percent, while the River Valley regions had the highest at 6.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent in February. It was 6.2 percent in March 2015.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said job seekers and employers should use the GDOL’s online job listing service, www.employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In March, 286 jobs in Metro Hinesville were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 78,986 jobs were posted.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.georgia.gov.