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Unemployment down to 4.5% in Newton

Newton County’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% in March as more residents found jobs and entered the labor force.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today, April 22, that Newton County saw positive over-the-month measures for nearly every key indicator in March.

“We had another strong month in March,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “We saw the unemployment rate drop in every single region and county, along with an increase in jobs across the state and most importantly, a decrease in over-the-year initial claims for every region and county.”

In Newton County, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points, bringing the rate to 4.5%. A year ago, the rate was 4.2%.

The labor force — the total of all county residents working or available to work — increased in March by 113 to 52,791. 

However, that number is down by 650 from the total in March 2020.

Newton County ended March 2021 with 50,414 employed residents — an increase of 354 compared to the previous month.

However, the March 2021 number of employed residents was 770 fewer than March 2020.

Unemployed residents decreased by 241, from 2,618 in February to 2,377 in March of this year.

Initial claims for unemployment increased by 12% in March. When compared to last March, claims were down by about 61%.

The GDOL’s online job listing service at showed 559 active job postings in Newton County for March.

Statewide, Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.4% to 4.0% in March while the state saw a significant increase in the number of jobs.

"March is yet another month where we have seen job growth throughout the state," said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. "EmployGeorgia is showing triple the amount of job listings that we were seeing at the start of pandemic. 

“Georgia has gained a vast majority of the jobs that were lost since March of last year, and we continue to remain strong in economic growth and business development."

Jobs in March increased by 21,800, reaching a total of 4,486,000. That number is down 151,000 compared to this same time last year. 

The job total listed online at EmployGeorgia is showing 223,000 job listings — triple the amount of the 70,000 listings in March of 2020.

Of the more than 223,000 jobs currently listed on EmployGeorgia, over half of them advertise annual salaries over $40,000. In many cases, employers are willing to train quality candidates and assist with attainment of additional credentials. 

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Administrative and Support Services, 3,500, Health Care, 2,400, Local Government, 1,800, Finance and Insurance, 1,700, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 1,700.

In March, the number of employed Georgians was up 29,854 to reach a total of 4,929,108, and the number of employed was up by 564,000 since April. 

Georgia’s labor force in March saw an increase of 15,762, reaching a total of 5.1 million.

In March, initial unemployment claims increased by 29% (32,102) since February to reach 143,410. Since week ending March 21, 2020, 4.6 million regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the nine years prior to the pandemic combined (4 million). 

Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 38,382, up 4,759 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 240,594 active PUA claims.

The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 11,906, Administrative and Support Services, 4,043, Manufacturing, 3,160, Retail Trade, 2,226, and Health Care, 2,149.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending April 10, was 576,000, a decrease of 193,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 769,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000.