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Henry’s jobless rate rises to 8.1 percent in July
by Noreen Cochran
September 02, 2014 03:24 PM | 1614 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Labor recently announced metro Atlanta joblessness again overtook the state’s rate, which in July was 7.8 percent, ratcheting up to 8.0.

Henry County outstripped them both by weighing in at 8.1 percent, continuing a trend that pushed its unemployment rate up to 7.9 percent in June and 7.2 in May, compared to April’s 6.6.

Stockbridge, although its rate stands at 9.5, bucked the trend by turning in a rate lower than June.

Both city and county had lower rates than July 2013, which were 10.3 and 8.7, respectively.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said summer unemployment trends, which in May and June reacted to an influx of new graduates flooding the labor pool, also suffer from a shallower job pool.

“That was mainly due to some seasonal factors with schools being out over the summer,” he said in a statement, referring to positions like cafeteria server and bus driver. “As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the jobs that were gained and lost, all the jobs losses came in government.”

With school starting back Aug. 11, the point is almost moot, Butler said.

“Most of those individuals have already gone back to work,” he said.

Department spokesman Sam Hall said initial claims, a statistic tracking the number of layoffs experienced, likewise rose to 19,271 this July, over 1,600 more than in June.

“Most of the increase was due to temporary layoffs in manufacturing, administrative services and retail trade,” he said.

The figure, though, was still lower than metro Atlanta’s 23,700 layoffs last July.

Butler said the July upticks overshadowed underlying pockets of progress.

“If you take out the job losses in government due to the school closings and just look at the private sector, which fuels our economy, the private sector gained almost 9,000 jobs over the past month, which is very good news,” he said.

The top job-adding sector at 5 percent growth is leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants and hotels, followed by the professional and business services sector, which includes consulting, accounting and law.

Another prime mover in July was construction, which had 4.4 percent job growth.

Butler said the figure indicates the economy is on the right path for recovery and growth, especially in the recession-savaged construction industry.

“To see them starting to show over 4 percent job growth, and we’re continuing to see that number improve, that’s very encouraging news,” he said.

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