According to Georgia Department of Labor preliminary March figures that were released this week, Carroll County had 5,191 people without jobs in a labor force of 52,730.
That compares with a 10.1 percent unemployment rate in February and 10.6 percent in March a year ago.
“We actually have the labor force rising and the unemployment rate going down at the same time,” said Dr. Joey Smith, assistant professor of economics at University of West Georgia. “This means we’re having people coming into the labor force and they’re finding jobs.”
The jobless rate has fallen more than two whole percentage points since it reached a high of 11.9 percent last June.
“All counties in the West Georgia region are now below 10 percent,” Smith said.
“This is great news to hear,” said Daniel Jackson, president/CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s been awhile since the jobless rate has been in single digits. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen turnaround and improvements, with some industries talking about expansion.”
Jackson said the chamber has picked up 40 new members this year and recently held its 13th ribbon cutting at a new business.
“When we look at a combination of indicators, we see numbers that are reflective of what’s happening and it’s very positive,” he said.
Other adjoining counties showed similar improvements:
• Douglas County had an 8.9 percent jobless rate in March, compared to 9.3 percent in February and 10.2 percent a year ago;
• Coweta County had 7.9 percent in March, compared to 8.4 percent in February and 8.7 percent a year ago;
• Haralson County had 9.0 percent in March, compared to 9.8 percent in February and 10.6 percent a year ago;
• Heard County had 9.9 percent in March, compared to 10.5 percent in February and 10.3 percent a year ago;
• and Paulding County had 8.4 percent in March, compared to 8.4 percent in February and 9.3 percent a year ago.
Statewide, the unemployment was 8.9 percent in March, compared to 9.2 percent in February and 9.7 percent a year ago.
The U.S. jobless rate, seasonally adjusted, was 8.2 percent in March, down from 8.3 percent in February and 8.9 percent a year ago.
In the Metro-Atlanta region, the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in March, down from 9.0 percent in February and 9.6 percent a year ago.
The rate decreased because there were fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, trade and administrative and support services, according to the Labor Department.
Metro-Athens had the lowest area rate in March at 6.7 percent, while Metro-Dalton had the highest at 11.6 percent.