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Posted: March 27, 2014 5:19 p.m.

Unemployment rate drops; fewer looking for work

Newton County’s unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent in February, down from 8.3 percent in January, but the number of employed workers also fell as the overall number of people looking for work dropped.

The number of unemployed workers fell by 201 to 3,794, and the number of employed workers dropped by 77 to 43,774. The labor force declined by 278 to 47,568.

On a positive note, the number of initial unemployment insurance claims dropped from 644 to 373 in February, and is down from the 467 filed in February 2013.

Metro Atlanta also lost 1,900 seasonal jobs in February, mostly in leisure and hospitality and retail trade, according to the Georgia Dept. of Labor; the number of metro jobs fell to 2,409,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent despite the loss in jobs.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said he was encouraged by the fact the number of jobs increased in crucial sectors, including education and health services, processional and business services, manufacturing and “most importantly, construction.

Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent in January to 7.1 percent in February. Unlike Newton County and Atlanta, the state added 2,190 jobs.

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