Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Oconee Has State's Lowest Unemployment Rate
The Georgia Department of Labor has released statistics showing that Oconee County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 6.0%. The AJC also has an unemployment map and accompanying story out that is worth examining. Overall, Oconee and neighboring Athens-Clarke fare well, as they are among a handful of neighbor counties around the state with average unemployment below 8%. This is a glimmer of good news for our area and region.
As bad as the recession seems locally, the data shows that it is much worse elsewhere, particularly in Northwest Georgia, where carpet manufacturers are shutting down mills. Traditionally rural areas of the state where employment has always lagged are also severely impacted. Case in point are Dalton and Whitfield county, which recently had the dubious honor of having the nation's second highest unemployment rate. As you can imagine, they are not happy about it. Full statistics and more charts beyond what I have pulled are here; thanks to the DOL for making them so easy to find and understand.