Jobless rate falls in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor says preliminary figures show the unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Atlanta declined to 10.4 percent in March. That's down from a revised 10.7 percent in February.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed workers in the area decreased to 277,953, down 7,423 from 285,376 in February.

In the Columbus area, unemployment fell from 10.3 percent to 9.9 percent last month while in Augusta, the rate fell from 9.7 percent to 9.2 percent. In Athens, unemployment fell from 8.3 percent to 7.9 percent.

In March, 32,647 laid-off workers in Atlanta filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, an increase of 262 from February.

The state added 10,500 new jobs in March, an increase of three-tenths of a percentage point.