However, while the unemployment rate has fallen, the shrinkage of the workforce size is causing some concern.
The August figures show a Carroll County workforce of 52,587, with 47,506 employed and 5,081 unemployed. The July workforce was 53,200, with 47,736 employed and 5,464 unemployed.
Last August, the workforce was 52,017, with 46,488 employed and 5,529 unemployed, for a jobless rate of 10.6 percent.
Dr. Joey Smith, associate professor of economics at University of West Georgia, said that while the lower unemployment numbers are encouraging, the workforce numbers also decreased.
“This could be students entering the labor force, who thought they would get jobs in July, then dropping out of the labor force altogether or looking for jobs outside the region,” Smith said. “Job figures are holding steady, but we’d like to see them growing. We’re three or four years out of the recession and would like to see more positions being added. We’re not seeing businesses coming to Carroll County and the region as fast as we had hoped.”
Smith said one reason for the slowness of business expansion at present may be the coming elections.
“They’re waiting on the sidelines to see how it turns out,” he said. “Optimism is what drives the market for investment. What we need now is a good healthy dose of optimism among business people and industries looking to move into the area.”
The preliminary unemployment rate in metro Atlanta declined to 8.9 percent in August, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in July. The rate was 9.9 percent in August 2011.
The rate decreased because there were 1,547 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, administrative and support services, educational services, and health care and social assistance, according to GDOL. Also, the metro labor force declined by 23,505, partially because some students left summer jobs to return to school.
Metro Athens continued to have the lowest area jobless rate at 6.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha Regional Commission, in southeastern Georgia, had the highest at 12.2 percent.
The state jobless rate for August was 9.2 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in July, and 10.1 percent in August, 2011.
The national jobless rate for August was 8.2 percent, down from 8.6 percent in July, and 9.1 percent in August, 2011.
“The unemployment rate has stabilized after two months of increases,” State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “Georgia continues to have respectable job growth, which is a good sign. While more than one-half of the monthly growth in August came from seasonal education workers returning to their jobs, what’s more encouraging is the fact that the August-to-August growth in the last year is the most we’ve had since 2007.”
Jobless figures for other West Georgia counties include:
• Coweta, 8.7 percent in August, down from 9.2 percent in July, and down from 9.4 percent in August, 2011;
• Douglas, 9.2 percent in August, down from 9.7 percent in July, and down from 10.6 percent in August, 2011;
• Haralson, 9.7 percent in August, down from 10.0 percent in July, and down from 10.1 percent in August, 2011;
• Heard, 10.6 percent in August, up from 10.5 percent in July, and down from 11.3 percent in August, 2011;
• Paulding, 8.3 percent in August, down from 8.7 percent in July, and down from 9.7 percent in August, 2011;
• and Troup, 10.0 percent in August, down from 10.4 percent in July, and down from 11.1 percent in August, 2011.