Columbus metro area unemployment rate declines to 8.8 percent in February

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 28, 2013 

A surge of jobs in the Columbus metro area put a dent in the February unemployment rate, with it coming in at 8.8 percent. That’s down from 9.4 percent in January and compares to 9.1 percent in February a year ago.

The data, reported Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor, also noted that first-time filings for jobless assistance dropped sharply from January to February. There were 882 new claims last month, compared to 1,952 the month before.

Columbus gained 1,300 jobs from January to February, the department said, with the jump to 119,600 jobs taking place in several sectors — trade, transportation, warehousing, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The metro area with the lowest February unemployment rate was Athens at 6.1 percent, with the highest in the northwest Georgia city of Dalton at 11 percent.

Georgia’s jobless rate, reported a week ago, was 8.6 percent in February, down from 8.7 percent in January. The Alabama rate in January was 6.9 percent. Alabama’s February rate will be released Friday.

Here are the February 2013 unemployment rates for Georgia’s metro areas:

• Athens — 6.1 percent

• Gainesville — 6.9 percent

• Warner Robins — 7.2 percent

• Savannah — 7.8 percent

• Valdosta — 8.1 percent

• Atlanta — 8.3 percent

• Augusta — 8.5 percent

• Columbus — 8.8 percent

• Hinesville — 8.8 percent

• Macon — 9 percent

• Albany — 9.2 percent

• Rome — 9.3 percent

• Brunswick — 9.6 percent

• Dalton — 11 percent

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