Douglas County saw its unemployment rate drop in August as the number of county residents both actively seeking jobs and working decreased from the previous month.

However, Douglas County’s August unemployment was lower and labor force totals higher than the same month a year ago, the Georgia Department of Labor reported.

Douglas County’s August jobless rate was 3.9 percent, a 0.3 percent decrease from 4.2 percent in July.

More than 1,000 fewer Douglas residents in August were in the labor force while 800 fewer residents were employed compared to the previous month, the labor department reported. 

Douglas County’s labor force — the total of all employed or actively seeking work — totaled 73,588 in August, down from 74,639 in July. 

A total of 70,692 Douglas County residents were working in August, down from 71,503 in July. But 240 fewer residents were unemployed in August, with 2,896 unemployed in August compared to 3,136 in July.

This year’s August numbers also were an improvement from August 2017 after the department’s data showed more Douglas residents were working or actively seeking work compared to a year ago.

In August of this year, more than 1,100 additional Douglas residents were in the labor market and more than 2,000 more were employed compared to August 2017. 

The August 2018 jobless rate for Douglas was 1.1 percent below the 5.0 percent recorded in August 2017, the labor department reported.

In addition, Douglas residents filed 18 percent fewer claims for unemployment benefits in August compared to July. A total of 302 were filed in August compared to 367 the previous month, the department reported.

County residents also filed 13 percent fewer claims for unemployment benefits in August of this year compared to August 2017.

Douglas is within the department’s 29-county Atlanta metropolitan statistical area. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the Atlanta area set a record for total jobs, saw its unemployment rate fall and the number of jobless claims shrink.  

The metro Atlanta area’s August unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, a 0.2 percent decrease from the previous month and down from 4.7 percent one year ago. Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate was higher than only the four-county metro Athens statistical area and one-county Gainesville area. 

The state’s labor force decreased in August by 42,017 to reach 3.1 million total members. The number has climbed by nearly 48,000 over the past 12 months. 

Atlanta lost 34,137 employed residents in August, dropping its total to just under 3 million. That number has grown by about 80,000 over the past year.  

Atlanta saw jobs increase by 14,900 in August to reach 2.8 million, a new record. This puts Atlanta up 53,700 jobs for the year.

Initial claims for unemployment were down by about 12 percent for the month and down by about 13 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.   

Counties included in the metro Atlanta statistical area include Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.

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