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Alpharetta's Unemployment Rate Lowest in Georgia

A slight increase in the jobless rate for Roswell saw it slip to second best in preliminary July figures.

Unemployment in Alpharetta is at 7 percent for a second straight month, according to preliminary figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor today. That's 2.7 percent better than the state's 9.7 percent unemployment, and it's the lowest rate for any city in the state.

Both figures are not seasonally adjusted. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Georgia is 9.3 percent. Seasonal adjustments have not been made for city rates yet.

Alpharetta's unemployment rate a year ago was only slightly higher at 7.3 percent.

While the unemployment rate is lower this year, the city's labor force has grown. Alpharetta had 31,236 people in its labor force (persons 16 years and older) this July, an increase of 663 from a year ago. The number of workers who call Alpharetta home increased by 726. But there still are 2,177 people out of work.

Neighboring Johns Creek has a higher unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, while Roswell is only slightly higher at 7.1 percent.

Roswell's rate actually was worse in July than in June, when the North Fulton city had the lowest unemployment rate – 6.9 percent – of the cities surveyed by the Department of Labor. Now Alpharetta has that distinction with its 7.0 percent unemployment rate for July, which is unchanged from June.

Georgia City Labor Force Estimates

City or County July 2012 Labor Force Unemployment
 June 2011 Labor Force Unemployment
Alpharetta 31,236 7.0% 30,573 7.3% Johns Creek 36,820 7.9 36,093 8.3 Roswell 49,407 7.1 48,407 7.6 Sandy Springs 56,610 7.3 55,471 7.8 Fulton County 459,114 10.2 451,377 11.0 Forsyth County 92,358 7.0 90,459 7.4 "Milton County"* 174,802 7.3 170,544 7.8 Georgia 4.77 million 9.3 4.72 million 10.0

* There has been no Milton County since 1932. These figures represent the four cities whose figures the Department of Labor reports that would be part of what has been proposed by Rep. Jan Jones, R-Milton, as a recreation of that former county.

And south across the Chattahoochee River, Sandy Springs has another low rate at 7.3 percent. Looking north, Forsyth County's unemployment rate matched Alpharetta's at 7.0 percent, unchanged from June 2012 and lower than the 7.4 percent of a year ago.

These figures are measurably better than Atlanta's overall unemployment rate of 11.9 percent, or even Fulton County's rate of 10.2 percent.

A mythical "Milton County" unemployment rate would be 7.3 percent, based on the four cities – Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell and Sandy Springs – for which the state reports figures. (The Georgia Department of Labor is being asked why Milton, with a population of 32,661 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is not included in the report.) Out of 174,802 people in the "Milton County" labor force, 12,752 were considered unemployed in July 2012.

The preliminary unemployment rate in Metro Atlanta increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.3 percent because there were 2,157 new layoffs in manufacturing, construction, educational services, and administrative and support services. The rate was 10.1 percent in July 2011.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.3 percent in July, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in June. The jobless rate was 10 percent in July a year ago.
The number of jobs in the state dropped by 17,900, or five-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,931,900 in June to 3,914,000 in July. There were 20,600 jobs lost among seasonal workers in the local public schools, but some of that loss was offset because the private sector added 5,600 jobs.

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