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Newton County jobless rate up slightly in May

May unemployment

Newton 4.3% 

Metro Atl 3.9%

Georgia 3.9%

U.S. 5.5% 

Source: Ga. Dept. of Labor

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County saw its unemployment rate increase slightly in May from the previous month as fewer residents were employed and more unemployed.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points, reaching 4.3%. A year ago, the rate was 10.2%, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The labor force decreased in May by 180 to 52,715. However, that was up by 1,425 from the total in May 2020 when the pandemic was in its third month.

Newton County ended May of this year with 50,437 employed residents, which was a decrease of 233 from April to May but was up 4,375 compared to May 2020.

The number of unemployed Newton resident increased by 73 compared to April. May’s total was less than half of the total recorded in May 2020.

Newton County’s jobless rate was higher than all of its neighboring counties exept Rockdale, which had a rate of 4.5%.

Other counties’ rates were Henry, 4.2%; Butts, 3.6%; Morgan, 3.5%; Jasper, 3.3%; and Walton, 3.2%. 

Newton’s jobless rate also was higher than the Metro Atlanta and statewide rates for May, which were both 3.9%.

But the county’s rate was 1.2% lower than the national rate of 5.5% for the same month, the labor department reported. 

Initial unemployment claims by Newton County residents also increased 9% in May from the previous month, though Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said it represented an over-the-year decrease in Newton County’s initial claims.

"This is a step in the right direction, but we need to continue to get Georgians back to work,” Butler said. “Increasing the amount of people in our labor force is critical for us to continue to improve.”

Initial claims for unemployment increased by 9% in May, from 1,285 to 1,366. When compared to May 2020, claims were down by about 85%.