Decatur County unemployment numbers fall in August

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unemployment numbers are slightly down in Decatur County according to the most recent monthly statistics released by the Georgia Department of Labor, which shows the unemployment rate in the Southwest region of the state down to 8.8. in August from 9.5 percent in July.
Decatur County specifically saw a decrease from 11.2 percent in July to 10.5 percent in August, a drop less than one full point.
The rate dropped because there was a significant reduction in layoffs. There were 1,405 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, which are 603, or 30 percent, fewer than the 2,008 in July. Much of the decline came in manufacturing, with additional reductions in construction, wholesale trade, administrative and support services, and professional and technical services.
Sam Hall, communications director for the Labor Department said it is not only beneficial to observe month-to-month statistics for unemployment but also from year-to-year how the region or county improved or worsened.
“Just look at the drop from August 2012 to August 2013 in Decatur County,” hall said. “In August 2012 the unemployment rate in Decatur County was 11.4 percent and in August 2013 it is down to 10.5 percent. That isn’t rare, but it is a significant drop in the rate that should be considered.”
Hall said another thing to take notice of in Decatur County statistics is the amount of initial jobless claims made each month.
“The number of claims filed for unemployment insurance is a barometer of whether or not employers are laying off during that month,” hall said. “In July 199 initial claims for unemployment were made in Decatur County and by August that had dropped to 120.”
There are currently 1,159 people listed as unemployed in the county currently, down from 1,250 in July and 1,279 in August 2013. The current labor force is 11,000 workers even.
Compared to surrounding counties in the region, Grady County has an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, Seminole County 8.7 percent, Miller County 6.1 percent and Mitchell County 9 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 8.7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was 9.0 percent in August a year ago.

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