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Unemployment rate declines for Newton County
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The unemployment rate in Newton County dropped slightly in September to 12 percent from 12.6 percent in August, according to information released today by the Georgia Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate also declined in metro Atlanta, from 10.3 percent in August to 10 percent in September. The statewide rate (seasonally adjusted) remained unchanged at 10 percent. The national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.

"While the local unemployment rate dropped, the change was primarily due to people leaving the workforce, often because of their inability to find work, rather than an increase in hiring," Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a release. "Employers are often hesitant to hire in an uncertain economy."

The Labor Department reported that 466,234 workers in Georgia were unemployed in September, with 50.7 percent out of work 27 weeks or longer. By comparison, only 10.1 percent of the unemployed in 2009 were out of work for more than half a year.

The Labor Department also reports that the number of payroll jobs available declined slightly, from 3,821,400 in August to 3,813,800 in September.

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