New­ton County un­em­ploy­ment, em­ploy­ment both rise in July

The Covington News - - Business - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

New­ton County’s un­em­ploy­ment rate in­creased to 11.3 per­cent in July, push­ing the rate to the high­est it’s been this year; how­ever, em­ploy­ment also in­creased mean­ing more peo­ple over­all were ac­tively seek­ing work.

The num­ber of un­em­ployed res­i­dents in­creased to 5,543, up 379 from June, but 307 work­ers also gained jobs in July.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate in­creased in large part be­cause the la­bor force rose by 686 peo­ple, out­pac­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who earned jobs. The num­bers aren’t sea­son­ally ad­justed, so they could sim­ply re­flect more teens tem­po­rar­ily look­ing for sum­mer jobs, re­cent col­lege grads en­ter­ing the work­force or more out-of-work adults hav­ing con­fi­dence that the econ­omy is im­prov­ing and get­ting back on the job mar­ket.

While the bump in the rate isn’t nec­es­sar­ily neg­a­tive, New­ton County is now tied with Butts County for the high­est rate among sur­round­ing coun­ties. Mor­gan and Wal­ton coun­ties were the low­est at 8.7 and 8.9 per­cent re­spec­tively, fol­lowed by Henry at 9.5 per­cent and Jasper and Rock­dale coun­ties at 10.6 and 10.7 per­cent.

The state un­em­ploy­ment rate also in­creased slightly to 9.3 per­cent in July from 9 per­cent in June. Un­like New­ton County’s num­bers, the state did not see any in­crease in em­ploy­ment, which dropped by 4,792 work­ers, while the num­ber of un­em­ployed peo­ple rose by 12,523 to 442,056.

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