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Newton unemployment rate falls to 10.3
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Newton County is one of three counties in the Northeast Georgia region that has an unemployment rate higher than 10 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.

However, figures show the county did see a decrease in unemployment between February's rate of 10.6 percent and 10.3 percent in March. Newton County's unemployment rate has also decreased since March 2011, which was 11.2 percent.

Nearly every county in the Northeast Georgia region saw rates decrease from February to March, with the exception of Jasper County.

According to a GDOL press release:
The Georgia Department of Labor also announced Thursday that the preliminary unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia area declined to 8.3 percent in March, down four-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 8.7 percent in February. The jobless rate in the Northeast Georgia area in March a year ago was 9.2 percent.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 6.7 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined in March for the eighth consecutive month to 9.0 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009, when it was 8.9 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.1 percent in February. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in March a year ago.

Statewide, the rate went down because the number of jobs in March increased by 13,900 to 3,894,900. Also, revised numbers show the state gained 35,600 jobs in the past 12 months.

The employment sectors showing growth since March of 2011 were:
-professional and business services, 28,900
-trade and transportation, 10,700
-education and health services, 7,900
-manufacturing, 5,900
-leisure and hospitality, 1,200.