Augusta Economy

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Metro Augusta unemployment rate drops to 8.5 percent

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The Augusta metro area unemployment rate in August continued to decline from its June high.

Hundreds of people showed up for a job fair at the Goodwill Job Connection on Peach Orchard Road on Thursday, March 8. Fifteen companies at the fair were looking to fill more than 500 positions. Georgia's unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, higher than the national rate of 8.3 percent.   FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Hundreds of people showed up for a job fair at the Goodwill Job Connection on Peach Orchard Road on Thursday, March 8. Fifteen companies at the fair were looking to fill more than 500 positions. Georgia's unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, higher than the national rate of 8.3 percent.

The jobless rate in August was 8.5 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. It was a decline from 9.1 percent in July and 9.3 percent in June.

In August 2012, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent.

State officials said the rate declined from July because there was a significant reduction in layoffs and an increase in the number of jobs.

There were 216,600 jobs in metro Augusta in August, up from 215,800 in July. The increase came mostly in education and health services, and state and local government.

Compared to August 2012, metro Augusta gained 3,800 jobs, with the gains coming in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, local government, and education and health services.

All six counties in the metro area experienced declines with the steepest downward shift coming in Burke and McDuffie counties.

Around Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate, 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 11.9 percent. In South Carolina, metro Charleston had the lowest, at 6.9 percent. The Florence metro area was the highest, at 9.6 percent.


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