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Newton unemployment at 11.8 percent
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The unemployment rate in Newton County was 11.8 percent for May, two points higher than the state average, according to information released today by the Georgia Department of Labor.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a release today that the preliminary unadjusted unemployment rate in metro Atlanta increased to 9.7 percent in May, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.6 percent in April. The April rate was first reported at a preliminary 9.7 percent. The jobless rate in metro Atlanta in May a year ago was 9.8 percent.

The rate rose primarily because of two reasons. More than 21,000 new job seekers entered the labor force looking for work, and while about 15,000 of them found a job, about 6,000 did not. Also, Atlanta had a net loss of 900 jobs, as an increase of 1,100 jobs in manufacturing and construction, was offset by a loss of 2,000 service-related jobs.

The lowest area rate, at 7.2 percent, was recorded in metro Athens, while the highest, at 12 percent, was in the Dublin area.

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8 percent from April to May. The state's jobless rate was 10 percent in May a year ago.

May marked the 46th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, up from 9.0 percent in April.