TIFTON — All counties in the Tiftarea except Ben Hill County saw unemployment decline during April, according to the state labor department.
In information released this week, the Ga. Department of Labor noted that Tift County’s jobless rate declined to 10.2 percent last month from 11.5 percent in April 2011.
Ben Hill County’s jobless rate rose to 13 percent in April; it was 12.4 percent a year ago.
April’s rate in other local counties was: Irwin, 11.2 percent; Cook, 10.8 percent; Berrien, 10.1 percent; Turner, 10 percent; and Worth, 8.3 percent.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said April’s preliminary unemployment rate in the metro Albany area declined to 9.5 percent, its lowest level since May 2009 when it was 8.9 percent. The rate was 9.6 percent in March and 9.9 percent in April 2011.
The rate decreased as the number of new jobs grew by 300 to 59,200, the highest number of jobs in metro Albany since 59,600 in November 2011. Also, there were fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and administrative and support services.
Metro Athens had the lowest area rate of any metro area at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent, the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below nine percent.
The rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in March. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.
Statewide, the rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January 2009. Job growth is up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,894,100 in March. In April a year ago, there were 3,904,400 jobs.
The industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700.
While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs, the labor department said.