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Newton unemployment rate up slightly
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Newton County’s unemployment rate ticked up in July to 10.5 percent, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. June’s unemployment rate in the county was 10.3 percent. In July 2012, Newton County’s unemployment rate was 10.8.

The county’s July labor force, which represents the number of people employed and those actively looking for work, totaled 44,221, with 5,161 people unemployed, the GDOL reported.

In the overall Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Newton County, the July unemployment rate decreased to 8.6 percent, down from 8.8 percent in June. The rate was 9.3 percent in July a year ago

According to the Department of Labor, the private sector continues to add jobs in Atlanta, gaining 9,400 in July. However, the gain was offset by a loss of 10,800 government jobs. Private sector increases were seen in construction, 3,200; trade and transportation, 2,700; education and health services, 1,400; leisure and hospitality, 1,200; information services, 700; manufacturing, 600; and financial services, 300.

In Rockdale County, July’s 9.7 percent unemployment rate was up slightly from June’s 9.6 percent, but down almost a full percentage point from a year ago, when unemployment stood at 10.7 percent.

Across the metro Atlanta area, metro Athens had the lowest unemployment rate, 6.9 percent, while metro Dalton and the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha tied for the highest at 12.3 percent.