The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in February from 8.2 percent in January.
Paulding saw a total of 5,685 unemployed residents in February and 6,046 unemployed in January, a decrease of 361 residents.
The number of employed residents took a hit as well with only 67,480 being employed in February and 67,779 being employed in January — a decrease of 229 residents.
In February 2012 there were 66,032 employed which shows Paulding is in better shape this year than last, said Don Sabbarese, professor of economics and director of the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University which operates a Paulding County campus.
Also following the trend of decreases is the labor force for the county. The labor force is the total of all employed and unemployed residents actively searching for work. A decrease could be caused by residents who stopped working to become full-time students, those not working and not seeking employment or those whose unemployment benefits have run out and still do not have a job.
“Sometimes you will see people come back in,” Sabbarese said.
The number filing for unemployment benefits decreased in February compared to January, said state labor analyst Corey Smith.
Those who filed for benefits came from the construction, manufacturing and administrative and support service industries, he said.
Surrounding counties also felt the decrease in their February unemployment rates compared to January, including Bartow County at 9 percent; Carroll at 10.6; Cobb at 7.4; Douglas 8.8; Haralson at 9 and Polk County at 8.6 percent.
Sabbarese said the unemployment rate will probably continue to decrease, though it is unknown if it will return to the 5 to 5.5 percent range, which was formerly considered the norm.
Oconee County had the lowest jobless rate in Georgia at 5.1 percent, and Jenkins County near Savannah was the highest in the state with an 18.5 percent rate.
Unemployment in the 27-county metro Atlanta region declined to 8.3 percent in February from 8.7 in January. The labor department attributed the drop to an increase in jobs which resulted in fewer layoffs.
Georgia also saw a decrease in unemployment from 8.7 percent in January to 8.6 in February. The unemployment rate was 9.5 in February 2012. There has been an increase in the labor force in the state over past 12 months from 4,782,904 in 2012 to 4,803,691 present, which is an increase of 20,777 residents.