The gain of hospitality, retail and business services jobs in April, much of it stemming from the Masters Tournament, pushed the metro Augusta unemployment rate down to 6.3 percent.
The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday that the metro’s unemployment rate was a slight drop from the 6.6 percent in March. The rate was 7.6 percent in April a year ago.
Labor Department data said there were 246,242 people with jobs in the area and 16,570 unemployed. The department reported last week that there were 4,700 jobs added to the metro area’s payrolls in April.
It is the best April jobless rate since 2009, but it was 5 percent in 2008 and as low as 3.4 percent in 2000.
For the six counties that make up the Augusta metro statistical area, only Richmond County had a higher jobless percentage than March. Columbia County, at 5.2 percent, was tied for sixth-lowest in the state.
Comparing other metro areas in Georgia, Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.9 percent, and Dalton had the highest at 8.2 percent. In South Carolina, metro Greenville and Charleston had the lowest at 4.2 percent, while Florence had the highest at 5.9 percent.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7 percent, unchanged from March. The rate was 8.3 percent in April a year ago. South Carolina reported 5.3 percent unemployment for April, a decline from March.