Cherokee County's unemployment rate falls to 6.3 percent
by Michelle Babcock
September 27, 2013 10:48 PM | 1517 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The unemployment rate in Cherokee County fell to 6.3 percent in August, down six-tenths of a point from 6.9 in July, and a local businessman predicts the rate will continue falling.

In August 2012, unemployment in the county was 7.1 percent, according to seasonally unadjusted figures released Thursday by the Georgia Depart-ment of Labor.

In metro Atlanta, the unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent in August, down from 8.6 percent in July, and a year ago in August, metro Atlanta unemployment was at 8.9 percent. Statewide, the August unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July.

Senior Vice President of Bank of North Georgia Lewis Cline said Friday the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta have been a major factor in the unemployment rate falling in Cherokee.

“They’ve been hiring and are still hiring some help,” Cline said. “I expect the rate to continue to drop slightly throughout the year as retailers will start to hire seasonal help, and after the seasonal help and the holidays are over, it may have a slight uptick to reflect people not having seasonal help anymore.”

Cline said the Outlet Shoppes in Woodstock has led to some permanent jobs and that as businesses continue to grow, the unemployment rate will continue to look better.

“Cherokee County offers many opportunities and I do foresee business and industries in the county adding to staff next year as their businesses continue to grow,” Cline said. “So I think the unemployment rate for Cherokee County will remain positive.”

The number of eligible workers in Cherokee dropped from 116,176 people in July to 114,573 people in August, the seasonally unadjusted figures show.

The number of eligible workers is determined by adding the number of people employed and those actively seeking employment, and officials said a seasonal decline usually happens in August as students return to school, leaving summer jobs.

In July there were 8,019 people unemployed, or 6.9 percent unemployed out of the total number of eligible workers. In August, 7,270 were unemployed, or 6.3 percent unemployment out of the total 114,573 eligible workers.

Forsyth had the lowest unemployment rate in the area, with 6.1 percent, and Cherokee had the second lowest unemployment rate with 6.3 percent.

Nearby counties’ unemployment rates for August are: Bartow at 8.1 percent, Cobb at 7.2 percent, DeKalb at 8.4 percent, Douglas at 8.4 percent, Fulton at 8.8 percent, Forsyth at 6.1 percent and Paulding at 7.3 percent.

The number of initial unemployment claims in Cherokee County decreased by 93, or 17.6 percent, from July to August. There were 434 initial claims in August, down from 527 in July. In August 2012, there were 618 unemployment insurance initial.

Since August 2012, Cherokee County has seen a decrease of 184 unemployment insurance initial claims, a decrease of 29.8 percent.

In metro Atlanta, there were 17,563 new layoffs in August, down 25.9 percent, or 6,137 fewer than in July, the figures show. In metro Atlanta the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 23.6 percent, or 5,433 claims, from 22,996 in August 2012.

Throughout Georgia, the number of initial claims fell from 54,106 in July to 35,503 in August, a decrease of 18,603, or 34.4 percent. Since August 2012, initial claims in Georgia dropped 22.4 percent, or 10,222 claims.

Georgia Department of Labor officials said many of the layoffs came in manufacturing, construction, administrative and support services, trade, accommodations and food service, and health care and social assistance.

The number of jobs in metro Atlanta increased by 2,800 from July to August, bringing the total number of jobs up to 2,415,900.

The industry that added the most jobs was education and health services (4,500 jobs), and officials said gains were primarily in social assistance. The government added 4,400 jobs, as non-contract education workers returned to schools after the summer, officials said.

The job gains were offset somewhat by the loss of 3,000 jobs in the private sector, mainly in professional and business services, according to the GDOL.

Since August 2012, metro Atlanta gained 57,100 jobs, and officials said the gains came in multiple sectors, including: professional and business services (14,800 jobs), trade and transportation (13,100 jobs), education and health services (11,900 jobs), leisure and hospitality (9,400 jobs), construction (8,100 jobs), information services (3,800 jobs) and financial services (2,300 jobs). The number of government jobs decreased by 4,200 jobs since August 2012.

The metro Atlanta labor force, which includes those who are employed and actively seeking employment, declined by 41,309 in August, down to 2,737,562 from 2,778,871 in July. Since August 2012, the labor force has increased by 5,492 from 2,732,070 in August 2012.

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