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Douglas County jobless rate up for first time since June
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
January 30, 2013 12:41 PM | 1165 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sales associate Bethany Edmondson restocks merchandise at Crush located inside Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville. The store sells jewelry and accessories.
Sales associate Bethany Edmondson restocks merchandise at Crush located inside Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville. The store sells jewelry and accessories.
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Douglas County’s unemployment rate increased in December for the first time in six months, the Georgia Department of Labor reported last week.

The county’s unemployment rate increased four-tenths of a percent from 8.4 percent in November to 8.8 percent in December — a rate above both the statewide and metro Atlanta rates in the same month.

However, Jeff Noles, executive director of the Douglasville Development Authority, said he saw it as a one-month downturn.

“You can’t take a [one-month] snapshot of the economy. You have to take a look at the total cycle,” he said.

Noles, whose duties include industrial recruitment for the city, said the city government is seeing new commercial permits. His office also is actively working with businesses to relocate to Douglasville “that will employ local people,” he said.

Labor department analyst Corey Smith noted one hopeful sign — first-time claims for jobless benefits decreased by 25 as county residents’ filings dropped from 657 in November to 632 in December, said.

Industries where jobless filings dropped over the month include arts, entertainment, recreation, and retail trade, he said in an email.

Initial filings increased in the construction and professional and technical services industries in Douglas County in December, Smith said.

The number of unemployed Douglas County residents grew by 346, from 5,822 to 6,168, while the number of employed residents decreased by 140 — from 63,783 to 63,643, Smith said.

A separate report on Georgia cities’ December 2012 unemployment rates showed Douglasville at 10.3 percent, up from 9.2 percent in November. Its December 2011 rate was 10.8 percent.

Compared to surrounding counties, Douglas fared better than its southern neighbors but worse than its northern neighbors.

Southern neighbor Fulton County was at 9.3 percent and Carroll County was at 8.9 percent. Northern neighbor Cobb County recorded a 7.6 percent rate, while Paulding County was at 8.0 percent.

Last month’s Douglas County jobless rate and first-time filings were below December 2011 totals of 9.4 percent and 741 filings, Smith reported.

The metro Atlanta rate — representing the average in 26 counties surrounding Atlanta — rose to 8.4 percent in December, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.0 percent in November, the labor department reported.

The rate was 8.9 percent in December 2011.

Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.6 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region in east central Georgia had the highest regional jobless rate at 11.4 percent, the department reported.

Georgia’s statewide rate increased to 8.6 percent in December, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in November.
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