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AP: Newton makes most stressed list

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

COVINGTON -- Newton County is one of the 20 most economically stressed counties in the country, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index.

Newton was the only county in Georgia to make the list, landing at No. 19 with a stress score of 19.76. The data is for the month of October and was released by the AP this week.

The index measures the impact of the recession and its recovery by taking into account unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy in counties with a population of 25,000 or greater. The index calculates a score from 1 to 100, with a higher score signifying more economic stress. A county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11.

Job gains around the country offset higher foreclosures and helped reduce the nation's economic stress in October to an 18-month low, according to The Associated Press. Stress declined in more than half of the roughly 3,100 counties analyzed and in 28 states.

Nevada was deemed the most stressed state, followed by Florida, California, Michigan and Arizona. The healthiest states were in the Great Plains and New England, with North Dakota ranking as the least stressed, followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Counties with substantial workers in farming, manufacturing, retail, finance and insurance enjoyed the greatest declines in stress in October. Counties with employment bases in transportation and warehousing suffered more.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.