The county's unemployment rate was 8.8 percent last month, according to a new report from the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate is a drop from 9.1 percent in June and 9 percent in July last year.
Cherokee held on to the second-lowest unemployment rate in the metro Atlanta area for the month. Fayette County reported an 8.3 percent unemployment rate.
Cherokee's labor force grew from 107,189 in June to 107,337 in July. The number of employed people also rose to 97,861 last month from 97,488 in June.
The metro Atlanta unemployment rate dropped from 10.3 percent in June to 10.2 percent in July. The rate last July was 10.2 percent.
The state rate for unemployment dipped to 9.9 percent last month from 10 percent in June. The rate in July last year was 9.9 percent.
According to the department of labor, the decline was due to long-term unemployed workers giving up their job search.
Nationally, the rate is 9.5 percent for July, holding steady from June and up slightly from 9.4 percent in July last year.
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mark Goddard of Cobb EMC said he's encouraged by the local rate and recent news of expansion plans by local industries like Chart and Bizchair.com.
"Hopefully, this is a sign that businesses are comfortable that the local economy is improving," he said. "We hope those trends will continue."
Bob Robinson, president of Express Employment Professionals in Woodstock, said research indicates hiring trends are on an "upswing."
A national hiring trend survey of employers done by Express Employment Professionals shows commercial and clerical positions "will likely see continued hiring increases for the third quarter," Robinson said.
Thirty-four percent of the company's more than 10,100 current and former clients across the country and Canada plan to hire full-time light industrial positions in the third quarter, while 28 percent plan to hire for administrative positions, according to the survey.
It also showed that 13 percent of respondents plan to hire for engineering positions and 11 percent plan to hire for information technology positions.
Pam Carnes, president of the county chamber of commerce, said she hopes the drop in the rate is a sign of an improving local economy.
"We continue to see business growth, and with business growth comes employment opportunities," she said.
"When you get into the 9s and 10s, it has a stigma. It is hard to break that," she said of unemployment rates. "Being in the 8s is better than being in the 9s."
Other unemployment rates in the metro region for July include: Bartow at 11.1 percent, Clayton at 12.4 percent, Cobb at 9.9 percent, DeKalb at 10.6 percent, Douglas at 10.9 percent, Fulton at 10.7 percent, Gwinnett at 9.2 percent, Henry at 10 percent, Paulding at 11 percent and Rockdale at 11.2 percent.