The Bartow County unemployment rate rose two-tenths to 12 percent from the seasonally adjusted March rate of 11.8 percent. This is 1.8 percent above April of last year, 1.6 percent above the current state unemployment rate and 2.1 percent above the preliminary national unemployment rate for April.
This marks the 31st consecutive month that the state of Georgia has exceeded the national rate. However, the preliminary unemployment rate for northwest Georgia decreased to 10.5 percent from a revised 11.1 percent in March, a drop of six-tenths of a point. Bartow County was the only county out of 15 in the northwest Georgia area to see an increase in unemployment in April.
Officials with the Cartersville Career Center said there were no recent sizable closures explaining this increase. Acting Director Gail Fowler added that despite the indications of a curtailing recession and decreasing unemployment rates in surrounding counties, Bartow has remained relatively high. "Our numbers remain high despite the statistics," Fowler said.
Although April's figures worsened slightly, five of the past six months for which revised numbers are available, spanning from September 2009 to March 2010, showed decreases in the Bartow County unemployment rate. These recent drops in unemployment have been the first consecutive months of improvement since February and March 2007.
Statewide, 60,661 laid-off workers filed initial claims, a decline of 23,685, or 28.1 percent, from 84,346 filed in April 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in trade, manufacturing, construction and administration and support services.
The state showed a modest increase in new jobs in April for the third consecutive month. The number of jobs increased 26,900, or seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,494,700 in March to 3,912,700 payroll jobs, 2.3 percent or 91,100 more than this year.
Local area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us.