Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
March 21--The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 7.1 percent in February, down from 7.3 percent in January.
The rate was 8.5 percent in February 2013, according to a news release.
"This is the eighth month in a row that Georgia's unemployment rate has declined," state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in the release. "The rate dropped in February because Georgia employers created nearly 7,000 new jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs more than 30 percent."
The number of jobs increased to 4.04 million in February, up from 4.03 million in January.
Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 57,000, or 1.4 percent, from 3.98 million jobs in February 2013.
There were 40,322 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in February, compared to 58,091 in January. There were 38,696 claims in February 2013.
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