Fayette jobless numbers rise in February to 8.2%

It is widely claimed that the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. But somebody forgot to give the job market the good news. Fayette County’s unemployment rate in February increased slightly to 8.2 percent while the jobless figures in Peachtree City also saw a slight increase to 7.2 percent

Fayette County’s jobless rate inched upward in February to 8.2 percent. That came on the heels of a 8.1 percent rate in January. Fayette has a workforce of 53,347 so the February rate translates into 4,379 residents out of work.

Meantime, the unemployment rate in February 2011 was also 8.1 percent.

Also showing a slightly upward tick in February was the jobless rate in Peachtree City where the 7.1 percent rate in January gave way to a 7.2 percent rate in February. With a workforce of 15,860, that means that 1,222 Peachtree City residents are without work.

The jobless rate in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission was 9 percent in February compared to the 9.1 percent rate a month earlier. The February figure equates to more than 193,000 people unemployed.

Unemployment in the 28-county Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased a bit in February with a rate of 9 percent, down from 9.1 percent in January. That compares to the 9.9 percent rate a year ago.

Fayette, Coweta and Henry are the only counties in south metro Atlanta with an unemployment rate below 9.3 percent.

Viewed statewide, Georgia’s jobless rate saw a slight decrease to 9.3 percent in February. The January rate was reported at 9.4 percent. With a workforce of 4.75 million that means 441,517 people were out of work.

And nationwide, the rate in February slipped to 8.7 percent in February, down from 8.8 percent in January. That translates into 13.4 million people out of work.

But that is not the whole story since government figures do not account for issues such as under-employment where people wanting full-time employment can only find part-time work. That figure, according to Gallup, represented another 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Combining both the unemployment and under-employment rates show that nearly 19 percent of the U.S. workforce is still being affected by the Great Recession that, according to both Washington and Wall Street, has long ended. The National Bureau of Economic Research in 2010 said the recession ended in June 2009.

Perhaps coincidentally, it was in June 2009 that Fayette County’s jobless rate first topped the 8 percent mark and has remained there ever since.

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