First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Augusta were lower in April compared to March.
The Georgia Department of Labor reported 2,524 workers in the Augusta metro area applied for unemployment benefits last month. In March, 2,768 people filed for benefits.
A year ago, 1,160 initial claims were made, a 117 percent increase.
In Richmond County, claims fell 16 percent: 1,267 in April compared to 1,524 in March.
In Columbia County, claims rose 1.5 percent: 612 in April compared to 603 in March.
In Burke County, claims fell 10 percent: 307 in April compared to 342 in March.
In McDuffie County, claims rose 5 percent: 272 in April compared to 259 in March.
Statewide, 84,346 laid-off workers filed initial claims for jobless benefits in April, a 63.4 percent increase from April 2008.
The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of increase in claims from April 2008 to April 2009 are Gainesville, up 164.9 percent, and Athens, up 143.2 percent.
The areas with the smallest increases in claims over year are Dalton, up 18.6 percent, and Warner Robins, up 24.6 percent.