Newton County’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent in March is the lowest since November 2008, according to the labor department, before the housing market crash fully hit Newton County.
The rate continued its drop in 2013, falling another 0.4 percent, as an estimated 148 workers found new employment in Newton County in March.
Unemployment dropped by 136 and the estimated labor force only increased by 12, leading to hope that the change represents true new job creation. Similarly, initial unemployment claims were also down again, falling to 449 in March from 467 in February.
Similar results were seen in much of the state, as Metro Atlanta unemployment dropped by 0.4 percent to 7.9 percent in March, while the state number dropped 0.2 percent to 8.4 percent.
Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Atlanta businesses created more than 13,000 jobs in the month, while making fewer layoffs.
Much of the growth came in leisure and hospitality with 5,900 jobs added, while administrative and support services, 4,600, and professional and business services, 4,200, were also big gainers. The number of government jobs in the Metro region declined by 1,400.
Layoffs in the Metro region fell to 17,222 in March, with the decreases coming mostly in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation, warehousing, administrative and support services and accommodations and food services, according to the labor department.
The unemployment rate has been up and down since the economic recession officially ended, but March’s progress continues a gradual decline.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate in the Northeast Region, which includes Newton, at 5.9 percent.