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State jobless rate hits lowest point in three years

 

ATLANTA – State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent, the first time in more than three years the rate has dropped below nine percent. The rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in March. The jobless rate was 9.8 percent in April a year ago.

“We now have the lowest unemployment rate, the fewest unemployed workers, and the most jobs in Georgia in more than three years,” said Butler. “Our job market continues to improve at a modest and steady rate.”

The last time Georgia’s jobless rate was below nine percent was in February of 2009, when it was also 8.9 percent. There were 423,495 unemployed workers in Georgia in April, the fewest since January 2009, when there were 409,841.

The rate declined as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000, the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January of 2009. Job growth is up eight-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,894,100 in March. In April a year ago, there were 3,904,400 jobs.

The industries showing growth were: trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700. While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.

The number of initial claims in April rose by 4,816, or 11.3 percent, to 47,492. Most of the increase in claims came in manufacturing, trade, and administrative and support services. While initial claims increased over the month, the number declined by 6,845, or 12.6 percent, from April 2011.

The number of long-term unemployed workers increased 1,300 in April to 240,500.  The long-term unemployed, those out of work for more than 26 weeks, make up 56.8 percent of all unemployed in Georgia. However, the number of long-term unemployed is down 14,300, or 5.6 percent, from April 2011.

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Rabies clinic offered at Farmer's Market

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Pictured, Dr. Chester administers a heartworm test at Saturday’s vaccination clinic.

     Saturday, Dr. Craig Chester and his wife/Office Manager Charmet enjoyed a successful start to the second Farmers Market Vaccination clinic as they welcomed owner after owner looking to have their pets vaccinated.

     As the months begin to grow warmer, it becomes even more important to vaccinate your pets, as it is more likely families and their pets will enjoy more time outdoors.

The art and strategy of Magic

     magiccardsWhether just for fun or serious competition, Aury Friedman of The Fastest Dog believes the complex world of Magic can foster new levels of critical thinking and strategizing among the games’ players while they cast spells and launch attacks and counter-attacks with their creatures of fantasy.

     Friedman, whose computer store is located beside Quiznos on West Church Street, hosts game nights at his shop on Friday nights for both newbies to the game of Magic and for avid, long-time players. Each game of Magic, according to Wikipedia, represents a battle between mighty wizards, known as planeswalkers, who employ the magical spells, items and fantastic creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents.

Basement being dug at courthouse

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                                                      Jeff Warren / Photo
Thursday, May 10, saw two earth-moving machines continue to gnaw at red earth set to move, making way for the coming four-story courthouse addition. At bottom, the new building will include a “sally port” underneath for transferring prisoners between vehicles and the new justice center.
Shown: a view from Court Street. At left, the Courthouse Annex. At right, the back of the existing marble courthouse.

13-year-old begins battle with bone cancer

“When the doctor came in and said, ‘Mrs. Anderson, Jade has got cancer and she could die,’ that was like, I mean, I just about hit the floor,” mother says.

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“JMS loves Jado” — Students and staff at Jasper Middle School rally behind Jade Anderson, a student recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

     Mid afternoon last Monday, 13-year-old Jade Anderson, known as “Jado” by her friends and family, was tucked under the covers at her Jasper home watching television.

     While the rest of her friends were at school that day, she had spent the afternoon getting blood tests at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta clinic in Kennesaw. That’s because three weeks ago, the very first day of her spring break this April, Jade was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor that typically develops near the knee or shoulder during the rapid stage of growth in adolescents.