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State unemployment rate stays flat in April

But officials tout year-to-year growth

ATLANTA — There were 16,700 new leisure and hospitality jobs created in Georgia last month but that bump wasn’t enough to bring down the state’s unemployment rate from March, according to Department of Labor statistics released Thursday.

Overall, the statistics show Georgia’s unemployment rate stayed at 7 percent, which was the same rate for March. However, more than 40,000 jobs were created in April. But those increases were offset by some losses, including 400 manufacturing jobs which were mainly temporary layoffs at a poultry manufacturing processing plant in southwest Georgia.

New unemployment claims increased by 2,747 filings from March to April, state officials said. There were 33,561 new claims filed in April, which represents a month-to-month increase of 8.9 percent.

Still, state officials touted year-to-year growth in Georgia’s economy. The unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in April 2013.

“We had very strong job growth in April, as our employers created 41,300 new jobs, which is the largest March to April increase since 2005,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler in a statement. “And, to make things even better, more jobseekers are entering the labor force and getting hired.

“This is a stark contrast to what we’re seeing nationally with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the labor force,” Butler added.

There were a total of 4.1 million jobs throughout Georgia in April, compared to 4.06 million in March. Local figures were not immediately available for individual counties, though.

The most recent unemployment rate figures available are from March. At that time, Clayton County had an 8.6 percent unemployment rate, according to Department of Labor data. It also had a workforce of 130,016 people, according to the data.

In addition to leisure and hospitality, other career fields which produced jobs in Georgia in April included:

•Professional and business services — 10,900 jobs.

• Trade, transportation and warehousing — 5,600 jobs.

• Construction — 2,600 jobs.

• Government — 2,200 jobs.

• Education and health services — 2,000 jobs.