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Unemployment still rising
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Sadly Newton County's unemployment rate has jumped to 11.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in December.

In January, the last report from the Georgia Department of Labor showed that 1,195 people had applied for unemployment benefits in the county.

Unfortunately for us, the two industries we depend upon the most here locally are manufacturing and construction - they are the ones being hurt the most by this recession.

The good news is when things do get better, and we feel they will, these two industries will be the first to boom.

Although we are optimistic about a future recovery for our economy, it's not going to come soon.

That is why as a community family we have to continue to support, to the best of our abilities, our neighbors who might be struggling right now.

Our food banks are strained, but you can help by buying a few extra groceries to give to one of our local food distribution agencies. You can go through those closets and take those extra clothes to places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, so folks for little or nothing can have proper clothes to wear.

You can also say a little prayer every day for our economy to begin to grow soon. Always remember when you celebrate your good fortune at this time that "by the grace of God go I."