The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) region declined to 8.7 percent in March, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 9.1 percent in February. The rate was 9.2 percent in March a year ago.
The rate declined because the number of unemployed people decreased to 17,926, down by 906 from 18,832 in February. There were fewer new layoffs, which were represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. Claims fell by 106 from 1,824 in February to 1,718 in March. The decreases came mostly in construction, trade, transportation, and warehousing, health care and social assistance, and administrative and support services. And, the number of initial claims was down over-the-year by nine from 1,727 in March 2012. Most of the over-the-year decline came in retail trade and health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.9 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 8.4 percent, down from 8.6 percent in February. The rate was 9.1 percent in March a year ago.