The county began 2010 with a 14.1 percent unemployment rate, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The ending unemployment rate rested at 11.9 percent for December. Translated into the number of unemployed individuals, unemployment began with 3,454 unemployed in Gordon County in January to an ending number of 2,987 in December.
“First of all, the overall state of Georgia had a high unemployment rate and anytime anyone is out of work it’s too high,” said Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Phillips.
According to Phillips, Gordon County’s numbers improved throughout 2010, and the county didn’t see any major losses in industry.
Companies forced to make cuts grew in other areas, he explained.
According to Mark Watson, a labor market analyst with the Georgia Department of Labor’s Office of Workforce Information and Analysis (WIA), the labor force in Gordon County grew slightly throughout 2010, with a labor force of 24,500 in January that increased to 24,900 closing out December.
From the second quarter of 2009 through the second quarter of 2010, Gordon County had a growth of more than 900 jobs, Watson stated.
Those jobs were seen in several areas including the addition of more than 600 jobs in manufacturing, primarily textile mills and textile product mills, and over 300 jobs in administrative and support services including temporary employment agencies, according to the most recent county-level industry employment data available to WIA. There was also slight growth of less than 50 jobs in accommodation and food services, according to Watson.
According to John Ard, GDOL spokesman, quarterly employment data from each county is based on quarterly re-ports from employers in Gordon County.
The major losses in labor over the same period of time, according to Watson, were in local government with a little more than 100 jobs being lost. Health care and social assistance lost 65 jobs and retail trade lost 30 jobs, according to WIA numbers.
Those employed in Gordon County do not necessarily live in Gordon County, Ard explained; and on the flipside, those living in Gordon County do not necessarily work in Gordon County.
“The employment and labor force totals reported each month for Gordon County are residents of the county who are 16 years of age and above, not jobs in Gordon County,” he said.
The first quarter of 2011 will see three to four announcements about increased employment opportunities, said Phillips, however, he could not disclose the exact nature of the announcements at the time of this interview.
“I see it (unemployment) getting better,” he said.