GAINESVILLE - Gainesville leads the state in a decline in first-time claims for unemployment insurance, according to new figures from the Georgia Labor Department, and applications are down statewide.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says metro Gainesville recorded 653 fewer claims (a 53 percent decline) last month, compared to November a year ago. Dalton was second, at 41.5 percent (1,166 fewer) and Warner Robins was third, 36.9 percent (270).
Athens recorded the smallest decline in claims, 2.8 percent (22 jobs). Statewide, applications were down by 17.8 percent (10,222). Every metro area in Georgia had a decrease in UI claims compared to November 2011.
As for job gains and losses in November, Butler says Brunswick had the biggest percentage increase compared to last November - 4.6 percent, or 1,800 new jobs. Gainesville was right behind with a 4.2 percent increase, or 3,200. The worst showing was in Dalton, where 2,000 jobs were lost, a 3.2 percent decline. Three other metro areas in the state lost jobs as well: Warner Robins, Columbus, and Augusta. Statewide, Georgia had 61,900 more jobs last month than it did a year ago - a 1.6 percent increase.