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Single digits for Pike joblessness

By Sherri Ellington Pike County regained its claim to the lowest joblessness in the region in June, when unemployment was at 8.8%. That is up from 8.2% in May. It was 9.4% in June 2011. Pike and Coweta are the only remaining counties in single-digit joblessness in the 10-county Three Rivers region. In June the work force numbered 8,349 with 7,612 working and 737 seeking work. This compares to May numbers of 8,297 workers, 7,615 with jobs and 682 looking for work. In June 2011 there were 8,203 workers, 7,431 employed and 772 seeking work. In June, initial unemployment claims for Pike were 71, compared to 79 in May and 89 in June 2011. At two fewer people the monthly change was 10.1% and at 18 fewer people the yearly change was 20.2%. In the 10-county Three Rivers Region, Meriwether County was highest, jumping to 13.7%, followed by Troup at 11.9%; Upson, 11.5%; Spalding, 11.4%; Heard, 11.3%; Butts, 11.1%; Lamar, 10.8%; and Carroll, 10.4%. Remaining below double digits were Coweta, 9%; and Pike, 8.8%. The preliminary unemployment rate in the Three Rivers area rose to 10.6% in June, up 1.2% from 9.4% in May. The rate was 11.2% in June 2011. The rate increased because 2,673 new job seekers entered the labor force but were unable to find work, pushing unemployment up 2,930. Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9% in June, up one-tenth of a percent from 8.9% in May, the first increase in almost a year. The jobless rate was 9.9% in June a year ago. The number of jobs in the state dropped by 8,200, or two-tenths of a percent, from 3,941,500 in May to 3,933,300 in June. Jobs were up by 45,200 from 3,888,100 in June 2011.

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