The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that Metro Gainesville’s unemployment rate in March was 4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.1 percent in February. In March 2016, the rate was 4.4 percent.
The rate declined because more people became employed as the labor force continued to grow, and employers continued to add jobs and lay off fewer workers, according to State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.
The number of employed residents increased by 468 to 94,383, as the labor force grew by 368 to 98,292. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs.
The number of jobs increased by 200, or 0.2 percent, to 88,400. The job growth came in services such as trade, transportation and warehousing.
Over the year, 3,100 jobs were added, a 3.6 percent growth rate, up from 85,300 in March 2016. Job growth came in the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, and services such as trade, transportation and warehousing, and state and local government.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 152, or 26.4 percent, to 423. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 379, or 47.3 percent, from 802 in March 2016.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.1 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in February. It was 5.5 percent in March 2016.