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Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 3:30am

Jobless Rate Down To 9%

Georgia's unemployment rate has dropped for eight straight months, and the state's labor commissioner said that's a sign more Georgians are getting back to work.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported the state's unemployment rate for March was 9 percent, compared to 9.1 percent in February and 9.8 percent in March 2011. The figure is the lowest since February 2009, when unemployment in the state was 8.9 percent.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Georgia companies are feeling more optimistic about the future and more Georgians are looking for and finding employment.

Nationally, decreases in the jobless rate have been attributed in part to more people giving up on their job search. But Butler said that’s not true in Georgia.

“We have actually had gains in the labor force, more people actually going back in the labor force, looking for jobs,” he said. “Over the last 11 months we’ve had gains, so we’re at some of our highest levels of people looking for jobs. The good news here in Georgia is that they’re actually finding jobs.”

Butler said the number of Georgians unemployed for six months or more also declined to 239,200 — the lowest since September 2010.

Butler said businesses created 14,000 jobs in March.


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.