Newton County 4.9%
Metro Atlanta 4.5%
Source: Ga. Dept. of Labor
COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County saw more residents with jobs and more entering the labor force in February compared to January of this year.
The February unemployment rate was 4.9%, which was a 0.7% decrease from 5.6% in January, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday, April 1.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said, “February’s numbers are a strong indication the state is getting back to where it was prior to the pandemic.”
“Not only are we seeing growth for nearly every indicator in each region and county, but we are seeing the momentum start to switch in our favor,” Butler said.
“The unemployment rates are drastically dropping, the labor force numbers are gearing up, and most importantly, we are seeing initial claims decrease in almost every region and county,” he said.
Newton County’s February unemployment rate was higher than the statewide average of 4.4% and the Metro Atlanta average of 4.5%.
The number of employed Newton residents increased by 729 — from 49,286 in January to 50,015 in February.
In addition, 319 fewer county residents were listed as unemployed in February compared to January.
Newton County’s labor force — all employed residents and all unemployed residents making themselves available for work — also increased in February.
Newton County’s labor force increased in February by 410 residents, rising from 52,204 to 52,614.
However, that number is down by 1,158 from February 2020.
A year ago in February 2020, Newton County’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
However, the county’s rate shot up within two months to 12.5% in April 2020 before beginning a gradual decline since then, the labor department said.
Initial claims for unemployment from Newton County residents increased by 1% in February. When compared to last February, claims were up by about 272%.
Clayton County recorded Georgia’s highest county-level February unemployment rate at 7.5%, while Catoosa County in north Georgia on the Tennessee line had the lowest rate at 2.6%.