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No traction
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If you’ve ever been on a rain-slicked roadbed of red Georgia clay trying to navigate a hill without benefit of four wheel drive, you know a bit of what it’s like being unemployed in Newton County.

No matter how hard you try, there’s no traction to get you up that hill. You either slip and slide ditch-ward or you get your back tires spinning their way deeper in muck until you’re hopelessly stuck.

Our unemployment rate according to the Department of Labor stands at 12.4 percent, down a point from a year ago, but up a half percent from December. The statewide rate was slightly better, at 10.4 percent, but that’s still at an all-time high. It also exceeds the national rate of 9 percent, and has done so for 40 consecutive weeks.

The mud just won’t dry up, and that’s unfortunate.

We feel for our neighbors who have had to deal with long-term unemployment and under-employment. Hang in there, hopefully an economic equivalent of a four-wheel drive truck with a winch is on the way.

There is a bit of good news: Foreclosures declined across metro Atlanta by 25 percent in February from a year ago, and 40 percent from January, according to an Associated Press report.

Even more encouraging, state revenues were up $148 million in February from a year ago. With revenue rising, hopefully more jobs will soon follow.

We’re ready. Covington and Newton County are poised for growth. Hopefully we’ll soon get up that hill and out of the mud.