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State unemployment drops, but percentage still outranks nation

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Although Georgia's unemployment rate dropped slightly in February, the percentage of jobless workers exceeded the national unemployment rate for the 41st consecutive month.

The state Department of Labor released February's preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate Thursday.

As a state, the unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.3 percent in January. The state's jobless rate was also 10.3 percent in February 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 8.9 percent.

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate also dropped to 10.2 in February, down two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 10.4 percent in January. The jobless rate for the metro area a year ago was 10.7 percent.

In Gwinnett County, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from January. The county's percentage of jobless a year before was 9.8 percent.

Barrow's unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, down from 10.9 percent in January and 11.1 percent a year ago.

Walton's jobless rate was slightly higher at 10.4 percent, which is down from 11.2 percent in January and 10.9 one year before.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the February rate decreased because there were 16,400 new jobs, mostly in the service-related industries, construction and manufacturing.