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County’s unemployment lowest in region

Pike County’s unemployment rate fell again in December to 10.7%, allowing it to regain its long held position as best employed county in the 10-county Three Rivers region. Pike’s unemployment was down from 11% in November. At the same time initial jobless claims by citizens rose, the number of people counted in the workforce went down and the county lost 35 jobs. In December the work force numbered 7,921 people with 7,071 working and 850 looking for jobs. In all, 37 people were dropped from the work force. In the Three Rivers Region, the highest joblessness was found in Meriwether County at 14.4%. In second place was Spalding with 13.7% of people out of work. Heard County, in third place, jumped to 13.2. Fourth was Lamar and Upson, both at 12.8%. The top five counties were followed by Troup, 12.7%; Butts, 12.5%; Carroll, 10.9%; and Coweta, 10.8%. The national adjusted unemployment rate is 10%. For 25 of the last 26 months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate. Since the recession began in December 2007 Georgia’s workforce has shrunk by 121,257, or 2.5%, from 4,823,467 to 4,702,210.

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