For the month of August, Cherokee County continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates for the metro Atlanta area.
Only Forsyth County was lower with 6.8 percent unemployment.
According to data released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor, Cherokee’s jobless rate for August was 7.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent in July and 8.2 percent in August 2011. The rates are not seasonally adjusted.
The decline may be partially due to a decrease in the local labor force in August to 113,302 from 114,369 in July. However, the August labor force a year ago had about 1,000 fewer people at 112,262.
Other area rates include Fayette with an unemployment rate at 7.8 percent. Bartow was at 9.3 percent, Clayton at 11.2 percent, Cobb at 8.1 percent, DeKalb at 9.4 percent, Douglas at 9.2 percent, Fulton at 9.9 percent, Gwinnett at 7.9 percent, Henry at 9 percent, Paulding at 8.3 percent and Rockdale at 10.1 percent.
In metro Atlanta, the preliminary unemployment rate also declined to 8.9 percent in August, a decrease from 9.2 percent in July. Last month’s rate is down a full point from 9.9 percent in August 2011.
“The rate decreased because there were 1,547 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, administrative and support services, educational services, and health care and social assistance,” a news release stated. “Also, the metro labor force declined by 23,505, partially because some students left summer jobs to return to school.”
Bland Odell, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Woodstock, said he has noticed a trend in more heavy equipment manufacturers and both residential and commercial construction companies looking for workers.
“The general trend is positive,” Odell said. “There are increased amounts of work that need to get done. In order to get that work done, I think that’s why (my company is) so busy.”
However, Odell said many large companies have had hesitation in increasing their payrolls and are waiting out changes that may or may not be seen in the upcoming presidential election in November.
Additionally, he said many company leaders he’s spoken with are looking for positive change in the first quarter of 2013.
“The way I look at it, let’s just all hope and pray we get a good ’13 because we all deserve it,” Odell said.
The state Labor Department also said the number of jobs in metro Atlanta increased to 2,339,000 in August, up by 12,400 from July, and up by 29,400 from 2,309,600 in August 2011.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s unemployment rate as reported by the state Labor Department last week was unchanged from its July rate at 9.2 percent. That’s also a decrease from August a year ago at 9.9 percent.