The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for April was 5.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage point from 5.8 percent in March. This is the lowest the rate has been since June 2008 when it was 5.3 percent. The rate in April 2014 was 6.5 percent.
The rate for the metro area, which includes Bryan County, declined as employers added jobs and laid off fewer workers. The number of jobs in Savannah increased by 2,800, or 1.7 percent, in April to 171,700, up from 168,900 in March. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and retail trade.
There was an over-the-year gain of 7,500 jobs, or 4.6 percent, from 164,200 in April 2014. Most of the job growth came in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, trade, and transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 135, or 15.8 percent, to 717 in April, down from 852 in March. Most of the decrease came in construction, accommodations and food services, retail trade and manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 189, or 20.9 percent, from 906 filed in April 2014.
In the Coastal Georgia region, which also includes Bryan County, the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in April, down 0.3 percentage point from March. Like Metro Savannah, this is Coastal Georgia’s lowest unemployment rate since June 2008, when it was 5.4 percent.
Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha and the River Valley regions had the highest at 7.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6.3 percent, unchanged from March. It was 7.3 percent in April 2014.