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Recent grads swell county’s jobless rolls
by Bill Baldowski
July 09, 2014 03:53 PM | 1328 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Labor last week released Douglas County unemployment figures for May and they were not encouraging.

The figures reflected an increased unemployment rate countywide and in Douglasville when compared to April.

However, the increased unemployment numbers, although disappointing, were not unexpected as the rate reflected a transitional seasonal adjustment, said Georgia Department of Labor spokesman John Ard.

“The increased unemployment rate was the result of new high school and college graduates entering the work force,” he said.

“Some are looking for full-time positions while others are looking for part-time summer jobs.”

The May unemployment rate in Douglas County rose to 7.6 percent, up from a revised April rate this year of 6.7 percent.

There were 5,185 county residents who were out of a job in May compared to 4,529 the previous month, an increase of 656 persons on unemployment rolls.

Although any rise in unemployment may be disturbing, Douglas County did see its unemployment fall from May of last year when the rate was 8.3 percent, Ard said.

For Douglasville, the May unemployment rate also rose.

The preliminary figures for last May showed an 8.4 percent unemployment rate in the city compared to a revised April rate of 7.6 percent, a rise of eight-tenths of a percent or 141 unemployed city residents.

But, Douglasville’s May unemployment numbers were lower than those for the same period last year, when the city had a 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

“The labor force in Douglas County for May rose by 727 people, up to 68,269 in May compared to a labor force of 67,542 in April,” Ard said.

The same type increase in the labor force also showed in Douglasville between April and May, he said.

“The labor force in Douglasville rose by 157 individuals, from 14,851 in April to 15,008 in May,” Ard said.

Douglas County Commissioner Henry Mitchell III said he well realizes May is a month that typically sees a rise in unemployment due to graduations.

“After graduations, the labor force increases because there are more people coming into the labor force from college and high school and they usually begin looking for a job and this swells the labor force numbers,” he said.

However, Mitchell said that with such well-known companies as Keurig Green Mountain Inc., which is opening a manufacturing facility in Lithia Springs that will bring 550 jobs over the next five years, and Gordon Foods which is opening a new facility in Douglasville, it means these typically high-volume employers have found Douglas County well fits their needs.

“It means that Keurig, which is investing $337 million in Douglas County, will bring jobs to our area which will improve the employment picture,” the commissioner said.

He said he also believes that such businesses as Keurig and Gordon Foods can influence other large companies to take a harder look at Douglas to open, expand or relocate.

“I am confident that the employment picture will improve in Douglas County,” Mitchell said.

The commissioner said the county not only has an abundant labor force but one that will provide incoming companies good applicants for positions.

Douglas County resides in the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area, which also showed an unemployment rate increase. Those statistics showed the 28-county region’s unemployment rate in May at 7.3 percent, up from 6.5 percent in April.

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