The February rate was a 0.4 percent decrease from 9.2 percent in January as both the number of employed and unemployed county residents dropped during the month, said Corey Smith, labor market analyst with the Georgia Department of Labor in Atlanta. Employed Douglas County residents were down 279 — from 63,161 in January to 62,882 in February. The number of unemployed residents declined by 312 — from 6,377 to 6,065, Smith said.
The county saw initial claims for jobless benefits drop by 336 as filings decreased from 845 in January to 509 in February.
The only industries which saw filings go up were administrative/ support services, construction, and manufacturing, Smith said.
In February 2012 the unemployment rate in Douglas County was 9.7 percent and 601 residents filed for initial jobless benefits.
Douglas had a lower jobless rate than its southern neighbors but a higher rate than its northern neighbors.
Fulton County, which neighbors Douglas on its eastern and southeastern sides, recorded an 8.9 percent rate in February. Carroll County, adjacent to Douglas County’s southern and southwestern borders, recorded a 10.6 percent rate in February.
Northern neighbors Paulding County saw a 7.8 percent rate in February, while Cobb County’s rate was 7.4 percent.
The highest unemployment in Georgia was recorded in the metro Dalton area – defined as Murray and Whitfield counties — which had a jobless rate of 11.0 percent. The lowest unemployment was found in the metro Athens area – Clarke, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties — which had a rate of 6.1 percent.
The 28-county metro Atlanta region, which includes Douglas County, had an 8.3 percent jobless rate – down from 8.7 percent in January.