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Unemployment rate slows down

POSTED: May 6, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The Development Authority of Dawson County announced April 23 that the county’s unemployment rate slowed during the month of March, even though the rate was higher than the previous month.

  

The March 2009 county unemployment rate was reported at 10 percent.

  

This is the preliminary rate as released by the Georgia Department of Labor. The department also released the revised final numbers for February that placed the county unemployment rate at 9.8 percent.

  

Even with only a modest increase over the previous month, the March unemployment level represents the eighth straight month of rising unemployment in Dawson County.

  

“If there is good news in these numbers it is that the steep monthly increase in unemployment seems to be moderating,” said Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the authority. “I would hope that this is a sign that more jobs may be available on the horizon.”

  

The state seasonally adjusted unemployment rates also appear to be stabilizing at 9.2 percent for the month of March, according to information released by the department of labor.

  

Auvermann noted that the March county figures still placed Dawson higher than the overall Georgia unemployment level.

  

“Many officials at the state level perceive our county to be very wealthy. In terms of those unemployed, that would certainly not appear to be the case,” he said.

  

Dawson County is not eligible for many state grant programs because of its ranking as a more affluent county.

  

The unemployment rate this time last year was only 4.9 percent.

  

Unemployment in the county has more than doubled in 12 months.

  

“We are all optimistic that the rate of increase finally seems to be tapering off,” Auvermann said.

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