Augusta jobless rate improves in April



The metro Augusta unemployment rate went down in April to 8.4 percent, its lowest level since April 2009 when it was 8.2 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The rate was 8.5 percent in both March 2012 and April 2011.

Data released Thursday show that the number of people in the labor force dropped by nearly 2,000, which lowered the number of employed by 1,400 and unemployed by 500, resulting in the drop of one percentage point.

The labor force last month was 253,762, which is more than 7,000 people fewer than a year ago.

The metro area fared better than Georgia and South Carolina, which had jobless rates of 8.9 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.5 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.4 percent.


APRIL 2012 MARCH 2012 APRIL 2011

Burke 11.6 percent 11.0 percent 10.2 percent

Columbia 6.7 percent 6.7 percent 6.6 percent

McDuffie 9.0 percent 9.5 percent 9.4 percent

Richmond 9.9 percent 9.9 percent 9.4 percent

Aiken 7.5 percent 8.0 percent 8.5 percent

Edgefield 8.5 percent 8.8 percent 8.7 percent


The number of people seeking unemployment benefits changed little last week, signaling modest job growth.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for benefits dipped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

– Associated Press