Unemployment rates in Rockdale and Newton counties declined from July to August as initial claims dropped more than 25% in both counties.

“Although we are seeing fewer unemployed individuals now than before the pandemic started, we are also still seeing a decreased total number of people in the workforce when compared to numbers recorded prior to the pandemic,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “This will continue to cause a hiring crunch until we can attract more people back to the workforce to fill the record number of job openings.”

In Rockdale County, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percent to 3.7% in August. A year ago, the rate was 8.4%.

The Rockdale labor force decreased in August by 382 to 44,579. That number is up 1,698 over-the-year.

Rockdale County ended August with 42,948 employed residents. The number decreased by 290 in August but was up 3,650 as compared to last year.

In Newton County, the unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percent to 3.5% in August. A year ago, the rate was 7.9%.

The Newton labor force decreased in August by 499 to 52,716. That number is up 2,226 from last year.

Newton County ended August with 50,856 employed residents. The number decreased by 336 in August but was up 4,337 as compared to last year.

Initial claims for unemployment decreased 27 percent in August in both Rockdale and Newton. When compared to last August, claims in Rockdale were down about 82% and about 80% in Newton.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 542 active job postings in Newton County for August and 1,012 active job postings in Rockdale County.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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