ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor announced last week that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for March was 5.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from February. The rate in March 2015 was 5.6 percent.
The rate declined as employers created 1,200 more jobs, pushing the total to 176,100, up 0.7 percent, from 174,900 in February. Most of the increase came in leisure and hospitality, along with professional and business services and education and health services.
Over the year, Metro Savannah, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, gained 7,100 jobs, a 4.2 percent growth rate, up from 169,000 in March 2015. Most of the job gains came in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services, trade, transportation and warehousing, and state and local government, along with manufacturing.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 58, or 8.3 percent, to 755 in March. Most of the increase came in accommodations and food service, and retail trade. However, over the year, claims were down by 97, or 11.4 percent, from 852 in March 2015.
Also, Metro Savannah’s labor force increased by 937 to 180,159.
In Coastal Georgia, a 10-county region that includes Bryan, the unemployment rate for March was 5.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from February. The rate in March 2015 was 5.8 percent.
The rate declined as the number of employed residents increased by 2,132 to 302,425.
At the same time, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 55, or 4.1 percent, to 1,410 in March. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and accommodations and food services. However, over the year, claims were down by 193, or 12 percent, from 1,603 in March 2015.
Coastal Georgia’s labor force increased by 1,693 to 319,457.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.5 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent in February. It was 6.2 percent in March 2015.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said job seekers and employers should use the GDOL’s online job listing service, www.employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In March, 3,207 jobs in Metro Savannah were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 78,986 jobs were posted.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.georgia.gov.