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Unemployment drops in the county, metro
by Noreen Cochran
June 04, 2013 05:49 PM | 1401 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There were more people at work in Fulton County in April, helping the metro Atlanta jobless rate to fall to 7.6 percent, beating the state rate of 8.2 percent and its own April 2012 rate of 8.5 percent.

More than 425,000 county residents went to work in April, compared to just under 417,000 a year ago.

Unemployed residents numbered 38,409, down from 42,343 in 2012.

The 5,000 residents represent almost an entire percentage point, as the county unemployment rate fell from 9.2 in 2012 to 8.3 in 2013.

April is the third month of consecutive decreases in joblessness in the county and metro Atlanta.

Georgia Department of Labor spokesman Sam Hall said the main reason behind the drop is an increase of nearly 13,000 jobs in the metro area’s businesses.

But government jobs went missing as 1,700 metro area positions were eliminated.

“Most of the losses were in local governments, which includes schools,” Hall said. “The overall decline in government jobs, not only in metro Atlanta but the state as a whole, is the result of less funding, a decline in tax revenue and overall cutbacks.”

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said a bright spot is the addition of 1,400 jobs in construction, which can be seen as a contributor to economic recovery.

“As we look, over-the-year, at construction jobs, we’re seeing our best numbers since 2007, which predates the recession,” he said in a video posted on the department’s YouTube channel.

Sales are increasing in building supplies and real estate agents are reporting a low inventory of houses on the market, Butler said, which will most likely lead to more construction jobs.

“We’ve put together four months in a row where we’ve seen over-the-year growth in construction, which hasn’t happened in a very long time,” he said in an audio statement from the department. “It’s very encouraging to see this industry grow. Construction growth bleeds into a lot of other industries that will help them gain traction.”

The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.5 percent.

In neighboring counties, Henry has 7.6 percent, Clayton has 9.3 percent, DeKalb is at 8.2 percent, Cobb has 6.9 percent and Gwinnett’s rate is 6.8 percent.

Fulton’s lowest rate was 2.9 percent, recorded in November and December 2000, Hall said.

The highest was 11.4 percent in January 2010.

By the numbers:

New jobs in metro Atlanta

5,900 professional/ business services

3,700 trade/transportation

2,700 leisure/hospitality

2,400 education/health services

1,400 construction

Source: Georgia Dept. of Labor

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