COVINGTON, Ga. — More than 2,300 Newton County residents found work in October, state officials said.
The increase in employed residents dropped the county's unemployment rate faster than the region and state during the same month, according to a report from the Georgia Department of Labor.
However, Newton County also saw an almost 3% increase in initial claims for jobless benefits during the same time period, the department reported.
Newton County's unemployment rate decreased by 2% to 5.0% in October — putting the county's jobless rate slightly higher than Metro Atlanta and the state, Georgia's labor commissioner said.
The jobless rate in the 29-county Metro Atlanta region, of which Newton County is included, decreased by 1.9% to 4.7%. The statewide jobless rate dropped by 1.7% to 4.5% during the same period.
“In October, every region and county saw unemployment rates dramatically decrease, including some areas that dropped to pre-pandemic numbers, demonstrating how strong our economy was across the state prior to the crisis and how we are successfully recovering,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler in a news release.
Newton County ended October with 49,425 employed residents — an increase of 2,382 from 47,043 in September. However, it was down 1,369 compared to October 2019.
The labor force — the total of all county residents employed or actively seeking employment — increased in October. That number was 52,047, which was up by 1,487 from 50,560 in September but down by 556 from 52,603 in October 2019.
But initial claims for unemployment benefits in Newton County increased by 2.7% in October, from 2,122 in September to 2,179 in October. Statewide, initial claims were down 2.5% for the same period.
When compared to the pre-pandemic period of last October, claims in Newton County were up by about 800%, according to GDOL.
The GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 442 active job postings in Newton County for October, the department release stated.