CONYERS — December’s jobless rate decreased slightly in Newton County and held steady in Rockdale.
According to the state Department of Labor, the November unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in Newton County decreased to 7.9 percent in December. DOL data showed that 3,907 Newton residents did not have jobs in November, but that number decreased by almost 100 residents to 3,810 the following month.
Rockdale’s November unemployment rate of 7.8 percent remained the same in December. Although DOL statistics showed that the percentage of those without jobs did not change, the actual number of unemployed residents increased marginally. According to the Department of Labor, 3,266 Rockdale residents were not employed in November, but that number increased by 15 people to 3,281 in December.
Unemployment figures are determined by subtracting the employment rate — the number of residents who have jobs — from the labor force — the number of residents who are able to work but may or may not be employed.
The number of Newton County residents who had jobs in December was 44,380, while its labor force was determined to be 48,190. Rockdale’s December employment rate showed that 38,516 residents were working, and its labor force was at 41,797.
Both counties have seen significant decreases in unemployment rates since December of 2012. Newton’s jobless rate dropped almost 2 points from 9.8 in December 2012 to 7.9 this past December.
Rockdale reported that 9.6 percent of its residents were unemployed in December 2012, but that figure dropped to 7.8 percent a year later.
The DOL considers Rockdale County as part of the Atlanta Regional Commission, while Newton is part of the Northeast Georgia region.
Although Newton County’s unemployment rate has dropped month over month, the unemployment rate for the Northeast Georgia region has slightly increased from 6.3 percent in November to 6.4 percent in December. However, the Atlanta region’s unemployment rate went from 7.0 percent in November to 6.8 percent the following month.
Both regions have seen substantial decreases in the past year, with Atlanta’s regional unemployment rate going from 8.4 percent in December 2012 to its current rate of 6.8 percent, while Northeast Georgia’s rate was 7.9 percent a year ago.
The unemployment rate for the state of Georgia was 7.4 percent in December, down from 8.7 percent in December 2102.