The rate rose to 8.0 percent in October from September’s 7.9 percent, but there is a silver lining to this increase. The numbers have also shown a significant increase in the labor force — the total of all working or available to work in the county.
“Employed residents of Paulding County grew by 357, while unemployed residents were up by 53,” said Georgia Department of Labor spokesman Sam Hall.
There were 67,673 residents employed in September and 68,030 in October. Unemployed residents increased from 5,837 in September to 5,890 in October, Hall said. In October 2011 there were only 65,994 residents employed, and 6,656 unemployed residents.
These numbers show progress as Paulding County saw a 9.2 percent unemployment rate in October of 2011, 1.2 percent higher than the same month of 2012.
“Again, this reflects an increase in the labor force, a positive, in it implies people are entering the workforce with more optimism of finding a job,” Hall said.
Carolyn Wright, president/CEO of the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce, said the county has not seen any major business losses.
Wright said she is confident for a turnaround.
“We should see positive job growth in the coming year,” she said.
Hall said initial claims for jobless benefits grew by 74 during the month with 428 residents having filed a jobless claim in September and 502 filed claims in October, Hall said.
Construction, administrative and support services and professional and technical services seem to be the industries that are seeing an increase in claims for unemployment benefits, he said.
Unemployment rates for October in neighboring counties included Bartow, 8.5 percent, Carroll 8.9, Cobb 7.5, Douglas 8.6, Haralson 9.2 and Polk 8.6.
Paulding County saw a lower unemployment rate than the 28-county Metro Atlanta area which was at 8.2 percent, and was lower than the Georgia average at 8.5 percent.
Metro Atlanta saw a decrease in its unemployment rate from 8.3 in September. This is due to 19,500 new jobs, according to the release.
The increase in new jobs metrowide came in retail trade, professional, scientific, and technical services, education and health care, accommodations and food services, local government, technology, construction, and financial services, according to a release from the Department of Labor.
Hancock County had a rate of 23.3, making them the highest county unemployment rate in Georgia in October. Oconee County had the lowest rate with only 5.0 percent unemployment.