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Georgia jobless rate declines to 6.3 percent
Newton, Rockdale rates rise


                        Labor force      Employment    Number                       Rate

January 2015

Newton               48,007                         44,493          3,514                    7.3

Rockdale               42,204                         39,190            3,014                   7.1

December 2014

Newton                48,195                   44,713                   3,482                    7.2

Rockdale              42,354                   39,414                   2,940                    6.9

 January 2014

Newton                47,744                   43,569                   4,175                    8.7

Rockdale              41,923                   38,464                     3,459                   8.3          

State labor officials say Georgia's jobless rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, its lowest mark since January 2008.

The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new unemployment rate for February. It was down from 7.3 percent in February 2014.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the state hit a historic high for jobs in February, driving the unemployment number down.

Newton County was above that number for the last reported month, January 2015 with 7.3 percent. The unemployment rate for the county jumped slightly from 7.2 percent in December 2014. According to the Department of labor there were 3,514 of the 48,007-person labor force unemployed in January.

In January 2014, there were 4,175 Newton County residents, of a smaller labor force (47,744) unemployed for a rate of 8.7 percent.

Rockdale’s unemployment was up from December 2014 to January 2015 going from 6.9 percent to 7.1 percent. Of the 42,204-person labor force, 2,014 were unemployed in January.

Rockdale’s workforce is still in better shape than it was a year ago, with January 2014 unemployment having been 8.3 percent and 3,459 people out of work.

Butler said over-the-year state job growth has been the most seen in Georgia since Atlanta hosted the Olympic games in the summer of 1996.

Authorities said Georgia employers added 157,400 jobs since February 2014.