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NORTHWEST GEORGIA (WRCB) -- The Georgia Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia area declined to 11.4 percent in February, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 11.5 percent in January.
Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area decreased to 46,013, down 606 from 46,619 in January. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to a record 10.5 percent in February, up one-tenth of a percentage point from January. This marks the 29th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national seasonally adjusted rate, which was 9.7 percent.
The state's February jobless rate was up 1.8 percentage points from 8.7 percent at this same time last year. The jobless rate in the Northwest Georgia area in February 2009 was 10.4 percent.
Statewide 66,069 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 29,195, or 30.6 percent from 95,264 in January. And, there was a decline of 20,450, or 23.6 percent, from 86,519 claims filed in February 2009. Most of the first-time claims filed were in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.
"Georgia's job market has reached a critical inflection point," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. "Stabilizing unemployment rates and significant declines in new layoffs suggest that we are on the threshold of sustainable job growth."