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Newton County’s jobless rate dropped to pre-pandemic level in July

COVINGTON, Ga. — The number of Newton residents finding employment climbed and first-time jobless benefit claims dropped as the county’s unemployment rate hit pre-pandemic levels in July.

Newton County's jobless rate was 3.8% in July which was a 1.2% decrease from 5.0% in June, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The county’s July rate is at the lowest level since February 2020 when it was also 3.8%, according to the labor department.

Newton residents classified as employed rose from 50,563 in June to 51,209 in July — an increase of 646.

The labor force of 53,230 was almost unchanged from June — meaning the same number of Newton residents were either employed or actively seeking work in both months.

Newton's July jobless rate, however, still was above Georgia's statewide rate of 3.7%.

County residents filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits also dropped by 35% — from 1,072 in June to 697 in July. 

“After ending Georgia’s participation in the federal unemployment insurance programs in June, the state has seen growth of almost 84,000 jobs and has seen a 300% increase in the number of people employed from June to July,” said Commissioner Mark Butler. 

“We are seeing all-time high job numbers in many sectors. The job market is saturated with opportunities for job seekers, and we are working to connect employers with candidates for long-term employment.” 

Georgia's unemployment rate dropped 0.3 of a percent to 3.7% in July, mirroring rates seen prior to the pandemic, a news release stated. The statewide unemployment rate was 3.6% in March 2020. 

Statewide unemployment in July 2021 was 1.7% lower than the national rate of 5.4 percent.

The labor force increased 6,000 over the month to more than 5.71 million, up 204,000 since July 2020. 

Georgia’s employed residents in July saw a monthly increase of 21,000, up 389,170 since July of last year to 4,977,053. The number of unemployed dropped almost 15,000 from June to July to 193,486, down 428,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.  

The number of jobs was up 43,600 in July and was up 83,900 over the past two months. The jobs number has increased 515,000 since April of 2020. The state’s labor force participation rate for June 2021 was 61.7%, the same as the national rate, the news release stated

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Accommodation and Food Services, 15,200, Administrative and Support Services, 7,100, Local Government, 2,900, Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, 2,200, Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,100, Wholesale Trade, 2,000, Retail Trade, 2,000, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 1,800, Finance and Insurance, 1,200, and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, 1,100.

In July, there were 959,300 jobs in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, an all-time high, and 251,900 jobs in the Transportation and Warehousing sector, an all-time high. Also reaching all-time highs were 742,000 jobs in Professional and Business Services, 291,900 jobs in the Professional, Scientific & Technical sector, and 364,200 jobs in the Administrative and Support Services sector.