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Columbus metro area unemployment rate decreases to 8.7 percent in September

The unemployment yo-yo for the Columbus metropolitan area continues, with the September jobless rate slipping from 9.3 percent in August to 8.7 percent last month. That follows a couple of monthly increases.

In September a year ago, the local rate was 9.5 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported today that there were 111 fewer job cuts in the manufacturing, retail and hospitality sectors, which includes hotels and restaurants. It also said nearly 1,400 more Columbus-area residents now have a job.

Statewide, the University of Georgia city of Athens continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, with the one-time carpet manufacturing hub of Dalton the highest again at 11.2 percent.

Last week, the department reported Georgia had a September jobless rate of 9 percent, down from 9.8 percent a year ago. The Alabama rate was 8.3 percent, a decrease from 8.8 percent in September 2011.

Breaking down Columbus-area county rates on both sides of the Chattahoochee River, in Georgia, Muscogee came in at 8.7 percent, Harris at 6.3 percent, Chattahoochee at 17.3 percent, Troup at 9.5 percent, Meriwether at 10.2 percent, Talbot at 8.9 percent, Marion at 8.4 percent and Stewart at 11.1 percent.

In Alabama, the rate in Russell County was 9.9 percent last month. It was 6.4 percent in Lee, 11.8 percent in Barbour, 9.6 percent in Chambers, 10 percent in Macon, 15.4 percent in Bullock and 9.1 percent in Tallapoosa.

METRO AREAS

Here are the September 2012 unemployment rates for Georgia's metro areas:

Athens -- 6.4 percent

Gainesville -- 6.7 percent

Warner Robins -- 7.2 percent

Savannah -- 8 percent

Valdosta -- 8.3 percent

Atlanta -- 8.4 percent

Augusta -- 8.6 percent

Hinesville -- 8.6 percent

Columbus -- 8.7 percent

Macon -- 9.1 percent

Albany -- 9.4 percent

Rome -- 9.6 percent

Brunswick -- 9.7 percent

Dalton -- 11.2 percent

* Source: Georgia Department of Labor

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