ATLANTA – State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced today that Georgia’s February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the seventh consecutive month to 9.1 percent, the lowest rate since March of 2009, when it was also 9.1 percent. That is a decline of one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.2 percent in January. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in February a year ago.
“February’s economic data is encouraging,” Commissioner Butler said. “We created 15,600 jobs, lots of unemployed Georgians went back to work, and fewer people were laid off. After back-to-back quarters of declining unemployment and continued job creation, it looks like Georgia’s businesses are trending toward a comeback.”
The number of jobs in February increased to 3,880,400, with 70 percent of the February growth coming in the private sector. Also, newly revised numbers show the state gained 41,800 jobs in the past 12 months.
The employment sectors showing growth over the year were: professional and business services, 28,000; retail trade, 12,700; education and health care, 8,300; and manufacturing, 4,200.
“Manufacturing has always been a staple of Georgia’s economy and it was hit hard during this recession,” Commissioner Butler said. “Watching employment in the manufacturing field rise is very encouraging. At the same time, growth in professional services shows that business owners are feeling confident about adding new people. I hope to see the numbers get even better as the year moves forward.”
In February, the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits declined to the lowest number since June 2008. The number of claims dropped to 46,326, down 31,430, or 40.4 percent, from 77,756 in January. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing, administrative and support services, trade, construction, and accommodations and food services. Initial claims were also down over the year, declining by 9,250, or 16.6 percent, from 55,576 in February of last year.
Also, the number of long-term unemployed workers decreased 2,500, to 241,700 from January to February, the fewest number since October 2010.
Keep Pickens Beautiful is please to present the March Green Ribbon Award to Jasper Old Fashion Barber Shop, located at 630 East Church Street, Jasper. Owner Mary Caraway has transformed the building into an old fashion barber shop complete with a red, white and blue barber pole.
Inside you will find many reminders of yesteryear complete barbering tools and antique barber chairs. Her shop is a real trip down memory lane inside and out. Mary has been open at this location one year next month and has three employees, including her daughter.
KPB would like to thank Jasper Old Fashion Barber Shop for bringing a new fresh clean look to an interesting old building.
L-R: Misty Sullivan, Mary Caraway, owner, Heather Butler and not pictured Crystal Pendley.
If you have an SUV or large truck, and you’ve already had your birthday this year, you may have noticed that you paid the same amount for your tag as last year despite your vehicle’s depreciation.
Ordinarily a vehicle’s value depreciates by a certain percentage each year, depending on the type of vehicle. But, Pickens Tax Commissioner Sharon Troglin explained, values on bigger vehicles like SUVs have stayed the same because of all the vehicles turned in during the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.
Andy Thompson, pictured above, is leaving the Red Cross after serving as director
of the local chapter for over 16 years.
In the time Andy Thompson served as director of the local Red Cross chapter, he has seen a lot. During those 16 years, the Tate resident has been up close and personal with nearly every natural or manmade disaster in the northeast region.
Thompson was there for the 1998 tornadoes that killed 12 people and affected nearly 200 homes in Gainesville. He was there for the floods in Ellijay that displaced hundreds of families. He has been on the scene for countless house fires, and many, many other tragic events.
Just before his last day as head honcho with Red Cross’ Northeast Georgia Chapter on Friday, March 16, Thompson sat down with us to talk about how things have changed with Red Cross in the time he has been there.
For the rest of the story see this week's print or e-edition.
Press Release from Sheriff's Office
On February, 28th, 11 deputies from the Pickens Sheriff’s Office attended Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) training at Six Flags over Georgia. The course was provided by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.
The PIT maneuver is a method that can be utilized to end or prevent pursuits and protect the public. The PIT maneuver is defined as a forced stop by a pursuing deputy where the side of a pursued vehicle is pushed by the deputy’s vehicle causing the suspect’s vehicle to rotate into a position where it can be blocked by law enforcement officers.