State jobless rate held steady in March

ATLANTA – Georgia’s unemployment rate held steady in March. The jobless rate was 7.3 percent, unchanged from February and matching its lowest level since July 2008.

“While the rate held steady in March, we have seen considerable improvement since it began a steady decline from November 2010, when it was 10.5 percent,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “In fact, the jobless rate has either declined or remained steady every month since then.”

As the rate remained unchanged, the number of seasonally-adjusted jobs declined by 6,600, or 0.2 percent, to 4,239,500 in March, down from 4,246,100 in February. Most of the job losses came in accommodations and food services, 4,000; construction, 3,500; and nondurable manufacturing, including textiles, 2,300. Those losses were offset somewhat by gains in health care and social assistance, 2,600; retail trade, 2,200; and finance and insurance, 1,800.

“Despite a small job loss in March, our over-the-year numbers still look very good,” Butler continued. “Our employers added 127,100 jobs, which is the strongest March–to-March growth we’ve seen since 2000. That’s a growth rate of 3.1 percent, which is much stronger than the 2.3 percent national growth rate.”

Most of the growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 33,700; leisure and hospitality, 24,200; education and health services, 20,500; professional and business services, 18,000; manufacturing and government, 7,800 each; financial activities, 7,400; other services, including repair, maintenance and personal services, 3,000; and construction, 2,200.

Source: Georgia Department of Labor

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Jeannie Oliver is a writer and PR practitioner with a long string of awards behind her name. With a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Jeannie has worked as a high school journalism teacher, an editor for the Appaloosa Journal, and a media spokesperson for...