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Fayette jobless rate at 9.4%, highest in at least 2 decades

Signs that the recession is waning have yet to manifest in Fayette County, where the unemployment rate for February rose again and is now positioned at 9.4 percent, and that's among the lowest in the state. Meanwhile, Georgia’s unemployment rate sits at 10.8 percent.

In Fayette County the jobless rate increased from 9.2 percent in January to 9.4 percent in February. Fayette’s rate a year ago was 7.7 percent. The February rate means that, for Fayette County, there are 4,770 people jobless in a workforce of 50,913.

Fayette for the past two decades has consistently been one of the state's counties with the lowest unemployment rate, often leading the state with the highest percentage of employed workers.

And in Peachtree City, the unemployment rate held steady at 8.1 percent again in February. But that rate compares to the 6.9 percent rate a year ago. The Georgia Dept. of Labor estimates the Peachtree City workforce at 16,255, of which 1,322 are out of work.

The situation across the Atlanta Regional Commission, while worse than in Fayette, held steady in February. As in January, the unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, up significantly from the 8.6 percent rate in February 2009.

Next door in Coweta County the unemployment rate for February came in at 11.3 percent, up from 10.9 percent in January and 8.6 percent on year ago. Those figures represent 6,746 people out of work in a workforce of 59,656.

The situation in Newnan is worse. The February rate was posted at 12.8 percent, up from 12.2 percent in January and 9.9 percent a year ago. Newnan has a workforce of 13,427, of which 1,713 are jobless.

Across Georgia the unemployment situation held steady with just under 11 percent unemployment. Georgia’s jobless rate for February was recorded at 10.8 percent compared to 9.1 percent a year ago. The 10.8 percent rate represents 509,353 people out of work.

Georgia in February continued to surpass the national average in unemployment. National rates show 10.4 percent of the workforce without jobs. And while the national numbers showed a decrease in February from the 10.6 percent rate in January, the February numbers still show 14,871,000 people out of work.

Official unemployment rates listed across America do not tell the whole story on unemployment. Missing from the state and federal calculations are those no longer looking for work and those who are underemployed.

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