The county’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in November, a decrease from 6.9 percent in October and the fourth decline in five months, said Georgia Department of Labor spokesman John Ard.
“The last time the rate was this low or lower was in July 2008 when it was 6.2 percent,” Ard said.
Paulding’s November unemployment rate was a full 1.0 percent below the statewide rate of 7.3 percent. The county had a lower November jobless rate than all of its neighboring counties except Cobb, which matched Paulding at 6.3 percent.
The number of employed Paulding County residents grew by 710, from 67,253 in October to 67,963 in November. Unemployed residents decreased by 463, from 5,010 in October to 4,547 in November.
However, initial claims for jobless benefits improved only slightly in Paulding County, with 345 initial claims filed in November, down from 351 initial claims filed in October, Ard said. First-time claims totaled 481 in November 2012.
Fewer unemployment claims were filed in the county’s retail trade, manufacturing, and information industries in November, he said.
Seasonal employment helped fuel the increase in employment in the Atlanta area, Ard said.
“The pattern for increased employment among residents of the 28-county metro Atlanta area, of which Paulding is one county, was seasonal jobs in wholesale and retail trade and transportation and warehousing,” he said.
However, Paulding’s November rate was 1.4 percent lower than the November 2012 rate of 7.7 percent.
Jack Gleason, a sales manager for Hardy Automotive Group, said the dealership has added 15 to 20 new employees in recent months amid more sales of both used and new vehicles and an expansion of the group’s Ford store.
The dealership now employs almost 300, he noted.
“In our little corner of the world, things are improving,” Gleason said.
Don Barbour, chairman of the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, said Paulding’s business climate has improved since the recession began in 2008.
“The overall business climate has improved since the recession,” he said. “Our membership is on the uptick and we’re seeing overall improvements in business confidence and the business and economic outlook.”
WellStar’s planned April opening of its new Paulding replacement hospital will result in 500 new jobs, Barbour said.