Bartow County's initial unemployment claims rose 9.1 percent -- from 625 in February to 682 in March. It was a decrease of 26.9 percent over the year.
"The drop in the unemployment rate is encouraging, but I'm more pleased that we've now had two consecutive months of job growth, coupled with fewer layoffs," said Butler. "It appears that employers are growing more confident that our economy is improving."
There were 3,812,700 payroll jobs in March, up 15,600, or four-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,797,100 in February. Sixty percent of the new jobs were added in leisure and hospitality, including 7,000 at eating and drinking establishments. Jobs were also added in manufacturing, the wholesale of electronic equipment, the design of computer systems, transportation and warehousing, educational services, and administrative and support services. Also, there was an increase of 11,500, or three-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,801,200 in March 2010.
Also, 50,331 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in March, a decrease of 5,245, or 9.4 percent, from 55,576 in February. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction. And, there was an over-the-year decrease of 18,934 initial claims, or 27.3 percent, from 69,265 filed in March 2010.
There were 261,500 long-term unemployed Georgians in March (those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer). This represents an increase of 56,800, or 27.7 percent, from 204,700 in March 2010, but a decrease of 1,700, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 263,200 in February. The last time long-term unemployment declined over the month was in August 2010. The long-term unemployed account for a record-high 55.7 percent of the 469,103 jobless workers in Georgia.