Unemployment rates in Rockdale and Newton dropped slightly over the past month

CONYERS — Unemployment rates in Rockdale and Newton counties continue to drop, reflecting the declining joblessness trend across the state.

According to recently released statistics from the Georgia Department of Labor, Rockdale’s unemployment rate for April was recorded at 7.4 percent, a slight decrease from March’s unemployment percentage of 7.6. In terms of actual numbers, 3,031 Rockdale residents did not have jobs in April, compared to 3,136 in March. There has been a significant decrease in the past year, when 8.8 percent of the county was unemployed in April of 2013.

As for Newton County, the DOL reported 7.3 percent of residents as unemployed in April, while the rate for March was 7.6 percent. This means that 3,457 Newton residents were jobless in April, while 3,647 of them were unemployed in the previous month. Since April 2013, Newton’s jobless rate has declined 1.5 percent — from 8.8 percent this time last year.

Unemployment percentages and numbers are determined 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 the number of residents who are able to work, but may or may not have jobs.

Rockdale recorded an employment rate of 38,004 and labor force of 41,035 in April, while March’s stats show an employment rate of 37,985 and labor force of 41,121. In the Newton stats, April showed an employment rate of 44,061 with a labor force of 47,518. On the other hand, March recorded a slightly smaller employment rate of 44,039 and a labor force of 47,686.

Georgia’s preliminary unemployment rate for April is 7.0 percent — the same as March’s. Although the percentages for these two months are the same, the numbers of those without jobs decreased by a few thousand in a month, with April recording 331,660 Georgians as unemployed, and 334,088 of the state’s residents not having jobs in March.

A press release from the Georgia DOL states that unemployment rates declined recently because employers throughout metro Atlanta have created more than 18,000 jobs. April recorded a total of 2,444,300 jobs throughout the state — increasing from the number of jobs in March at 2,436,300. The top three job fields to see a gain in employment over the past month are leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and construction. More than 6,000 hospitality jobs were created since March, along with about 5,300 professional and business jobs and 2,700 construction jobs.