Unemployment in metropolitan Dalton, Ga., fell to its lowest level in a decade last month as the number of jobs in the Carpet Capital increased and unemployment claims declined.
Dalton's jobless rate in September fell by two tenths of a percent to 5.0 percent — the lowest rate since September 2007.
Dalton's non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was still well above the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent. But from its jobless peak of 13.6 percent seven years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, the Dalton has added more than 3,700 jobs and cut the unemployment rate by nearly two thirds.
The September rate compares favorably to last September when the rate was 6.1 percent.
"The combination of a falling unemployment rate and an increase in the number of employed residents shows a city on the rise," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement today. "Seeing the number of jobs increase is always a good indicator. However, seeing the number of employed Georgians increase is the ultimate positive result."
Metropolitan Dalton includes Whitfield and Murray counties in Northwest Georgia.
The number of employed residents in the Dalton area rose over the past year by 939 to 60,794. Although that is the highest number of employed persons in metro Dalton in a decade, employment in the Dalton area still remains 7.1 percent below the peak employment level of 65,470 reached in June 2007.
Unemployment claims were down by 6 percent to 644. Claims were down in manufacturing. When compared to last September, claims were down by 35.8 percent from 1,003.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL's online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 495 new active job postings in the Metro Dalton area for September.
"The city continues to head in the right direction," Butler said.