Unemployment rate continues to plummet


When it comes to state unemployment figures, the picture in Fayette and Coweta counties continues to look remarkably good. Both counties in April showed jobless numbers well below 5 percent.

Figures for April from the Ga. Department of Labor showed the unemployment rate for Fayette at 4.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent in March, and at 4.6 percent in Coweta, down from 4.8 percent the previous month.

Similarly in the two largest cities, the jobless rate continued to improve. April’s unemployment rate in Peachtree City was 4.1 percent compared to the 4.4 percent rate in March.

The April rate in Newnan was 5.2 percent, down from 5.4 percent in March.

The situation across the region also improved in April. The 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission, which includes Fayette, saw the 5.2 percent rate in March fall to 4.8 percent in April.

The 10-county Three Rivers Commission area, which includes Coweta, had a March unemployment rate of 5.6 percent and an April rate of 5.3 percent.

Statewide, the jobless rate held steady at 5.5 percent in April. Georgia has a workforce of 4.85 million, of which 266,060 were out of work.

Nationwide, the March unemployment rate of 5.1 precent declined to 4.7 percent in April.

Government statistics notwithstanding, there is another way to look at unemployment figures. Gallup.com maintains that widely reported unemployment metrics in the U.S. do not accurately represent the reality of joblessness in America.

“For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not count a person who desires work as unemployed if he or she is not working and has stopped looking for work over the past four weeks. Similarly, the BLS does not count someone as unemployed if he or she is, for instance, an out-of-work engineer, construction worker or retail manager who performs a minimum of one hour of work a week and receives at least $20 in compensation,” Gallup said.

Gallup places the real unemployment rate nationally at 9.7 percent in terms of “good jobs,” those people working 30 hours or more per week for an employer that provides a regular paycheck.