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Newton County unemployment down to 2.9% in September

Newton County's unemployment rate dropped to 2.9% in September as more county residents made themselves available for work and more found jobs during the month.

A total of 359 additional county residents found employment during the month after those with jobs increased from 50,842 in August to 51,201 in September, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The labor force — all county residents either employed or actively seeking work — increased by 50 residents to 52,751 in September.

Newton County's unemployment rate dropped from 3.5% in August to 2.9% in September.

However, Newton's jobless rate exceeded the Metro Atlanta rate of 2.5% and was higher than all but one neighboring county. Jasper, Morgan and Walton at 2.1%, Butts at 2.2%, and Henry at 2.7% were lower while only Rockdale at 3.0% was higher, the labor department reported.

The county's rate was lower than the statewide rate of 3.2%.

Newton County is part of the 29-county Atlanta metropolitan area. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Metro Atlanta had an all-time low unemployment rate of 2.5% in September, a drop of six-tenths of a point from a revised 3.1% in August. Last year, the rate was 6.9% in September.

"We are seeing all-time low unemployment rates throughout the state of Georgia reflecting an economy that is continuing to rapidly recover,” Butler said. “We are working with employers across the state to post, recruit, and fill critical positions in preparation for a strong holiday employment season.”

The labor force increased in Atlanta by 4,244 and ended the month at 3.1 million. This number is up 133,285 since September 2021. Comparing September 2021 figures to pre-pandemic February 2020 figures, the labor force remains down 48,000.

The number of employed was up 23,583 to 3,030,462 in September from August 2021. From September 2020 to September 2021, the number of employed was up 260,946. This number remains down 23,000 from pre-pandemic February 2020 figures.

The number of unemployed is at its lowest level since May 2001 (72,011). September unemployed numbers were down 19,339 to 77,819 from August. From September 2020 to September 2021, the numbers of unemployed was down 127,661.

Atlanta ended August with 2,797,000 jobs. Jobs were up 4,000 (0.1%) over the month and up 121,000 (4.5%) over the year. Since April 2020, 310,600 (82%) of the 381,500 jobs lost in March and April have been gained back.         

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included State Government, 4,500, Retail Trade, 3,200, Transportation and Warehousing, 1,400, Wholesale Trade, 1,300, and Specialty Trade Contractors, 1,300. 

Jobs were down in Health Care and Social Assistance, -3,300, Accommodation and Food Services, -3,200, Administrative and Support Services, 2,600, and Finance and Insurance, -1,600.

The number of initial unemployment claims went down by 44 percent in Atlanta in September. When compared to last September, claims were down by about 89%, the labor department stated.