The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate for Tift County dropped from 7.7 percent in January to 7.4 percent in February. The rate was 9.2 percent in February a year ago.
The preliminary unemployment rate in the Southern Georgia region, which includes Tift County, decreased to 8.1 percent in February, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in January. The rate was 9.5 percent in February a year ago.
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the rate declined because there were 1,497, or 50.8 percent, fewer new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance. There were 1,451 new claims filed in February, down from 2,948 in January. Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing and construction; administrative and support services; arts, entertainment and recreation; trade, transportation and warehousing; and accommodations and food services. There were 1,377 claims in February 2013.
The following list shows the unemployment rates for other counties in the Tiftarea and how they compare from January to February:
• Ben Hill - 9.8 percent in January to 9.1 percent in February (11.7 percent in February 2013)
• Berrien - 9.2 percent in January to 8.8 percent in February (9.6 percent in February 2013)
• Cook - 9.9 percent in January to 9.6 percent in February (10.3 percent in February 2013)
• Irwin - 10.8 percent in January to 9.8 percent in February (12.4 percent in February 2013)
• Turner - 7.2 percent in January to 6.7 percent in February (9.2 percent in February 2013)
Worth is not included in the Southern Georgia region, but is in the Southwest Georgia region. The unemployment rate for Worth dropped from 7.2 percent in January to 7.0 percent in February. The rate was 8.6 percent in February a year ago.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.employgeorgia.com.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.