COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County unemployment increased to 3.4% in October — up 0.5% from September as more residents entered the job market and more were classified as jobless.
The county’s October unemployment also was higher than the statewide and Metro Atlanta rates of 2.9% but lower than the national rate of 3.7%, according to information from the Georgia Department of Labor.
Thirty-nine fewer Newton County residents had jobs while 243 more residents were listed as unemployed as more Newton County residents made themselves available for work, the labor department reported.
The county’s labor force — the total of all county residents either employed or making themselves available for employment — increased by 204 from 54,587 to 54,791.
Newton County’s October jobless rate was below the same month of 2021 (3.6%).
All counties contiguous to Newton had lower October jobless rates except Rockdale, which also was at 3.4%. The rates ranged from Jasper at 2.5% to Henry at 3.1%.
Initial claims by Newton residents for jobless benefits totaled 205 in October, down 18% from 251 in September.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said that all regions of the state recorded a rise in unemployment rates in October.
“Job seekers have continued to experience a favorable hiring environment across multiple job sectors, despite a slight uptick in unemployment rates,” Butler said in a news release.
“As we prepare for peak holiday hiring, we encourage job seekers to take advantage of the many employment opportunities, both full-time and part-time, available across Georgia.”
Georgia’s October rate was 0.1% higher than the previous month but was half a percent lower than last year’s October rate. Additionally, job numbers reached another all-time high, increasing by 3,700 from September.
“Although Georgia’s unemployment rate went up slightly from September, the rate of job creation still far exceeds those in the workforce looking for employment,” Butler said. “We must continue to encourage jobseekers to join the workforce and take advantage of the incredible job opportunities we are seeing.”
Job numbers increased 3,700 from September to October to an all-time high of 4.8 million. Job gains included opportunities in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, 1,600, Finance and Insurance, 1,500, Local Government, 1,400, Health Care and Social Assistance, 1,200, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 800. Job numbers were at an all-time high in Financial Activities, 272,200, and in Education and Health Services, 637,600.
The sectors with the most over-the-year job gains included Accommodation and Food Services, 31,400, Health Care and Social Assistance, 23,900, Administrative and Support Services, 22,900, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 19,800, Wholesale Trade, 16,500, and Transportation and Warehousing, 14,900.
In October, the number of employed residents was down 9,527 to 5,166,794 while the labor force decreased by 5,573 to 5,268,918.
The number of unemployed was up 3,954 to 152,124, the first over the month increase since April 2020. However, the change in employment from September to October remained low at less than 0.2%.
Initial jobless claims statewide were down 651 (3%) from September to 20,919 in October. Over the year, initial claims were down 6,391 (23%).