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DOL stats show unemployment decreases in Rockdale and Newton

CONYERS – February’s unemployment rates for Rockdale and Newton counties have decreased slightly in comparison to January, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

Rockdale’s preliminary February unemployment rate was at 7.7 percent, which equates to 3,157 of the county’s residents not having jobs. This rate has decreased two-tenths of a percent from the January rate of 7.9 percent, when 3,236 residents were unemployed.

In Newton County, the DOL’s statistics show that 8.0 percent of residents were unemployed in February, meaning that 3,794 residents were jobless. Newton’s January unemployment rate was at 8.3 percent when 3,995 residents did not have work.

The number of those who are unemployed is calculated by subtracting the employment rate from the labor force. The DOL defines the employment rate as the number of residents who have jobs, while the labor force is described as the number of residents who are able to work, but may or may not be employed.

Rockdale’s employment rate was determined to be 37,756 in February, while its labor force number was 40,913. The February employment rate for Newton was ranked at 43,774, about 4,000 less than its labor force of 47,568.

Reflecting that the economy is slowly getting back on track, both counties have seen a significant decrease in unemployment rates since February of 2013, when Rockdale’s rate was 9.8 percent and Newton’s was 9.9 percent.

Overall, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in February, down from 7.3 percent in January. February’s statistics show that there were 337,443 Georgians without jobs. The state had an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent in February of last year when 407,251 residents were jobless.