Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Southern Georgia region posted a strong March with all key indicators trending in the right directions.

 

The unemployment rate fell, while Southern Georgia added to its workforce and employed residents. The number of new claims also fell, preliminary numbers showed.

 

“We are moving into the Spring with a strong jobs report,” Butler said. “The national economy is booming. Georgia is also producing strong numbers consistently across the state.”

 

The March unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points, coming in at 3.9 percent.  It was 4.3 percent one year ago. The rate declined across all 12 regions.

 

The labor force grew in March by 252  to reach 179,531 total members. The number has climbed by 1,545 over the past 12 months, or an average gain of nearly 130 per month.

 

The Southern Georgia region gained 990 employed residents in March, pushing its total to 172,583. That number has grown by 2,202 over the past year, or an average monthly gain of about 180.

 

Initial claims for unemployment dropped by 25 percent in March. They are down by about 30 percent when compared to last March.

 

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.comshowed 1,154 active job postings in the Southern Georgia region for March.

 

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission includes Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Tift, Turner, and Ware counties.

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