ATLANTA — Unemployment improved year over year in June for Newton and Rockdale but is up since last month, according to preliminary data released by the Georgia Department of Labor.
Newton’s unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in June, down from 10.8 percent the same time last year, but a 1 percent increase since May.
Newton’s labor force is reported at 48,977, with 5,061 unemployed.
Rockdale’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in June, down one percent from a year ago. However, it increased from 9 percent in May.
Rockdale’s labor force is reported at 42,196, with 4,083 unemployed.
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.6 percent in June. The rate was up three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.3 percent in May, but it was down five-tenths of a percentage point from 9.1 percent in June a year ago.
“The rate increased primarily because of two factors that occur this time of year,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “A large number of education workers are unemployed during the summer and new graduates are considered unemployed until they find a job.”
The seasonal impact on the unemployment rate was compounded because Georgia lost 600 jobs and the number of people in the labor force declined by 1,341.
“There is a silver lining in this new data because this was the best May-to-June job performance we’ve had since 2002, ” Butler continued. “And, if you factor out the loss of 10,000 government jobs and just look at the private sector, we would have actually gained 9,400 jobs last month because our private sector employers continue to hire.”
The number of jobs declined slightly to 4,043,500, down from 4,044,100 in May. State and local government education services lost 12,700 jobs, the most of any sector. However, some industries added workers. Those increases came in professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; construction and financial services; and manufacturing and other services.