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County jobless rate declines
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Newton County's unemployment rate decreased from 10.6 percent in July to 10 percent in August, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Georgia Department of Labor. This number is down from August of 2011 when the unemployment rate was 11.8.

Although Newton County saw a drop in its jobless rate, the county and Elbert County still have the highest rates among surrounding counties. Oconee and Morgan counties were the lowest at 5.5 and 6.7 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia region decline to 8.1 percent from July to September. The jobless rate in Northeast Georgia in August a year ago was 9.3 percent.

The rate decreased because there were 910 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services in the region. Also, the area's labor force declined by 1,221, partially because some students left summer jobs to return to school.

Metro Atlanta's preliminary unemployment rate declined to 8.9 percent in August, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in July. The rate was 9.9 percent in August 2011.

In Atlanta, jobs increased to 2,339,000 in August, up by 12,400 from July, and up by 29,400 from 2,309,600 in August 2011.

Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in August, unchanged from July. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in August a year ago.

The number of jobs in the state rose by 25,100, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,914,100 in July to 3,939,200 in August. Georgia has created 49,700 jobs since August 2011 when there were 3,889,500 jobs.

For more information about unemployment locally and in Georgia, visit