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Metro Savannahs unemployment rate declines to 5.4 percent

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for September was 5.4 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from 5.6 percent in August. The rate in September 2014 was 6.8 percent.

The rate declined as employers created more jobs. The number of jobs in Metro Savannah, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, increased by 400, or 0.2 percent, in September to 171,500. The job gains came mostly in state government, along with manufacturing, mining, logging and construction. 

Over the year, Metro Savannah gained 3,700 jobs, a growth rate of 2.2 percent, from 167,800 in September 2014. Most of the job growth came in professional and business services, trade, transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality and education and health services. 

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by nine, or 1.1 percent, to 860 in September. Most of the decrease came in educational services. Over the year, claims were down by one, or 0.1 percent, from 861 in September 2014. 

In the Coastal Georgia region, a 10-county area that includes Bryan County, the September unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from 5.8 percent in August. The rate in September 2014 was 7.1 percent.    

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7.5 percent.  

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 5.8 percent, unchanged from August. It was 6.9 percent in September 2014. Over the month, Georgia gained 9,100 jobs, and is ranked third nationally in monthly job creation. Over the year, Georgia gained 84,200 jobs.    

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