Special to the Citizen

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia region decreased to 5.9 percent in April, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.2 percent in March. The rate was 7.0 percent in April a year ago.

The rate declined because the number of employed residents rose by 237, and employers laid off fewer workers. There were 1,519 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in April, a drop of 30, or 1.9 percent, from 1,549 in March. Most of the decline in claims came in real estate, rental, and leasing. There were 1,906 claims filed in April 2013.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.9 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent, unchanged from March. The rate was 8.3 percent in April a year ago.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com