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Newton joblessness rises to 7% as more enter labor force

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County’s unemployment rate increased slightly in September compared to the previous month as more residents entered the workforce and found jobs during the month.

More residents also were listed as unemployed, though fewer filed first-time jobless claims.

According to a monthly Georgia Department of Labor report released today, Oct. 22:

• The county’s unemployment rate increased from 6.8% in August to 7.0% in September.

• The county’s labor force — the total of all employed residents and those actively seeking work — increased by 383 residents.

• Out of the labor force increase, a total of 235 Newton residents found jobs, with employment increasing from 46,695 in August to 46,930 in September. 

• An additional 148 residents were unemployed — increasing from 3,405 in August to 3,553 in September. 

• Fewer county residents filed initial unemployment claims. They decreased 15% from 2,497 in August to 2,122 in September.

In counties surrounding Newton, September unemployment ranged from 7.6% in Rockdale at 4.6% in Jasper County.   

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that the 30-county Atlanta metropolitan area — of which Newton is a part — also saw its labor force and employment increase in September.

In metro Atlanta, the unemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage points in September, reaching 6.7 percent. A year ago, the rate was 2.9 percent. 

The labor force increased in September by 24,526 and ended the month with 3,000,950. That number is down 101,516 when compared to September of 2019. 

Metro Atlanta finished the month with 2,798,801 employed residents. That number increased by 14,127 over the month but was down by 214,004 when compared to the same time a year ago. 

The Atlanta area ended September with 2,749,700. jobs. That number increased by 15,100 from August to September but was down by 106,300 when compared to this time last year.

The number of unemployment claims went down by 21 percent in metro Atlanta. When compared to last September, claims were up by about 1,387 percent.

 “Although we saw some negative metrics in certain MSAs, a majority of the areas saw increases in jobs, employed residents, and labor force,” Butler said.

Area unemployment rates ranged from 4.0% in the Gainesville area, to 7.4% in the Albany area. 

Georgia’s overall September unemployment rate was 6.3%, up from 6.0% in August.

“We really need to push the tens of thousands of jobs that we have on our online job listing page The more we fill these jobs the more our state can regulate and show positive numbers throughout all MSAs.”