Bartow unemployment stagnant as labor force increases
by Matt Shinall
Jun 24, 2011 | 1450 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the first unemployment numbers of the summer season are reported, college graduates and seasonal workers enter the labor force. Although state and regional unemployment rates rose in-part due to this influx, Bartow County absorbed the new job seekers, leaving May's preliminary unemployment rate of 10.3 percent unchanged from the month before.

Bartow's current unemployment rate, first reached in April, marks a level not seen in nearly two-and-a-half years making it the lowest rate since December 2008.

According to Georgia Department of Labor statistics, preliminary unemployment rates for the state, Northwest Georgia and Metro Atlanta each rose one-tenth of a percentage point with Georgia and Metro Atlanta both coming in at 9.7 percent while Northwest Georgia rose to 10.2 percent.

"The [Metro Atlanta] rate rose primarily because of two reasons. More than 21,000 new job seekers entered the labor force looking for work, and while about 15,000 of them found a job, about 6,000 did not. Also, Atlanta had a net loss of 900 jobs, as an increase of 1,100 jobs in manufacturing and construction, was offset by a loss of 2,000 service-related jobs," stated a GDOL press release, Thursday. "Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8 percent from April to May. The April rate was first reported at a preliminary 9.9 percent, but was revised. The state's jobless rate was 10 percent in May a year ago. May marked the 46th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, up from 9 percent in April."

May saw an increase of 304 workers into the Bartow County job pool, the same time frame saw an employment increase of 259 people, keeping unemployment steady despite the largest influx in more than 12 months. Going against a well established trend, Bartow's labor force shrunk sharply in May 2010 when a decrease of 616 employable residents was recorded.

Counties statewide saw a more-typical increase this year with Northwest Georgia gaining more than 3,000 new job seekers and 21,000 in Metro Atlanta. As for bordering counties, Floyd and Gordon retained higher unemployment rates at 10.5 percent and 11.2 percent respectively. Polk and Pickens counties are level with Bartow at 10.3 percent while Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties rest at lower levels. Cherokee boasts the lowest unemployment rate of nearby counties at 8.3 percent. Cobb's rate climbed only two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.2 percent after gaining 3,019 job seekers in the month of May.