The county’s rate decreased to 7.1 percent in April from an adjusted rate of 7.2 percent in March, both showing a marked decreased from 7.9 percent in April 2011. The local area rates are not seasonally adjusted.
The low rate might be due in part to the decreased labor force, down to 112,711 from 113,603 in March.
Also, fewer Cherokee residents are employed, according to the state department. April saw 104,742 county residents employed, which is a slight decrease from 105,404 the previous month.
The number of unemployed people in the county totaled to 7,969 last month, a slight drop from March’s 8,199.
Dennis Burnette, president and CEO of Cherokee Bank, said the fact that more than 60 percent of Cherokee residents leave the county every day for work provides a perspective on the number.
Burnette, a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission, said the jobs in Cherokee aren’t necessarily the kinds of jobs that maintain the vitality of the county.
“A lot of higher-paying jobs commute out,” Burnette said. “As far as job base in Cherokee County, we’re blessed with a relatively low unemployment rate.”
However, Burnette said the low unemployment rate could be seen as a false indicator of how the county is doing, because the number of foreclosures in the area remains high.
Cherokee continues to maintain the lowest unemployment figures for the metro Atlanta region, with Bartow at 8.9 percent, Clayton at 10.5 percent, Cobb at 8 percent, DeKalb at 8.9 percent, Douglas at 8.8 percent, Fayette at 7.7 percent, Fulton at 9.2 percent, Gwinnett at 7.6 percent, Henry at 8.5 percent, Paulding at 8 percent and Rockdale at 9.9 percent.
As a whole, the metro Atlanta jobless rate declined to 8.5 percent in April. State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a release Wednesday that the preliminary unemployment rate for the metro region reached its lowest level since December 2008, when it was 7.7 percent.
“The rate decreased as the number of new jobs grew by 14,800 to 2,331,100, the highest number of jobs in metro Atlanta since 2,332,600 in November 2011,” Butler said in the release.
For the first time in three years, the statewide unemployment rate has dropped below 9 percent as it declined for the ninth consecutive month in April to 8.9 percent.
Statewide, the jobless rate also saw a drop as the number of new jobs grew by 31,900, to 3,926,000. The state department said that’s the highest number of jobs in Georgia since January of 2009.
Georgia industries showing growth were mostly trade and transportation as well as leisure and hospitality, with both industries showing an increase of 9,200 jobs. Those were followed by professional and business services with 5,900 jobs, construction with 3,400 jobs and education and health care with 2,700 jobs.
The state department said Georgia gained jobs overall, but state and local governments combined lost 3,300 jobs.