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Georgia unemployment rate steady at 5.3 percent

Georgia's unemployment rate stood steady at 5.3 percent in March, the Georgia Department of Labor reported today.

The rate, unchanged from February, still is sharply higher than the 4.1 percent reported in March a year ago, the department said.

The state's rate is only one-tenth of one percent higher than the U.S. rate of 5.2 percent.

The department also reported changes in metro area work force totals. The data show Columbus losing 100 jobs in March, with its work force slipping to 121,100. Columbus and Athens were the only metro areas that experienced job declines.

Statewide, there was a collective gain of 10,200 payroll jobs, which includes people who work more than one job.

Here are Georgia's 11 metro areas and their work force changes from February to March:

- Albany, up 200 from 64,400 to 64,600.

- Athens, down 200 from 82,900 to 82,700.

- Atlanta, up 8,900 from 2,462,300 to 2,471,200.

- Augusta, up 1,100 from 216,900 to 218,000.

- Columbus, down 100 from 121,200 to 121,100. - Dalton, up 100 from 77,500 to 77,600. - Gainesville, up 300 from 76,900 to 77,200.

- Macon, up 200 from 100,200 to 100,400.

- Savannah, up 800 from 161,000 to 161,800.

- Valdosta, unchanged at 56,400.

- Warner Robins, up 300 from 59,100 to 59,400.

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