Short and Dickinson

Shane Short accepts congratulations from David Dickinson, left, a member of the Monroe City Council and a local attorney, Thursday night, Jan. 24, 2019.

MONROE, Ga. — Unemployment in Walton County has hit a record low.

The local jobless rate for November is 2.4%. Shane Short, the county’s top economic developer, said he believes that to be a record low “by far.”

“I can’t find anything near this from data that was tracked,” Short, the executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County since 2013, said.

For the 12-county Northeast Georgia region, which includes Walton, the November unemployment rate released this week was 2.5%. That makes three straight months below 3%.

Mark Butler, the state’s labor commissioner, said the region notched two records in November: an all-time low unemployment rate and a record high for employment.

The labor force also jumped in November, the last month for which data is available.

“Georgia had a record number of jobs, employment and total individuals in our workforce,” Butler said. “We had the fewest number of unemployed individuals since 2001, when we had 1 million fewer people in our workforce.

“Overall, it was a spectacular month.”

The nation’s unemployment rate fell in November to 3.5%, and the state’s rate fell to 3.3% — the lowest since the federal government began keeping records in 1976.

In the Athens-based Northeast Georgia region, the jobless rate was down 0.3 percentage points in November to 2.5%. A year ago, the rate was 3.2%.

The labor force increased in November by 78, to 308,510. That’s down by 217 from a year earlier.

“Today’s unemployment numbers are at historic lows for Walton County,” Short said. “There is practically no reason for someone who is capable and willing to work to not find a job.

“With these historic lows also come opportunities for people. Many of our industries have openings and are looking for quality individuals.”

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