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Newton, Rockdale unemployment declines

COVINGTON -- Newton and Rockdale unemployment rates are on the decline, according to data from April released this week by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Both counties have an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent. Newton is showing the most marked improvement, dropping 1.3 percent since December and .3 percent since March.

Newton's number of unemployed is 4,764 out of a workforce of 48,011, according to the Department of Labor.

Rockdale's rate has dropped .5 percent since December, and has held steady since March, when it was also 9.9 percent.

Rockdale's unemployed total 4,126, out of a workforce of 41,738.

Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted to account for seasonal workers. The state rate, which is seasonally adjusted, was 8.9 percent for April, marking the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below 9 percent. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.

"We now have the lowest unemployment rate, the fewest unemployed workers, and the most jobs in Georgia in more than three years," said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. "Our job market continues to improve at a modest and steady rate."

Statewide, the rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January 2009. Industries showing growth were trade and transportation, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, construction and education and health care.

State and local government jobs declined by 3,300 jobs.