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Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

(WXIA) -- The Atlanta area's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, down from January's 6.2 percent. It was also down a full point from the rate of 7.1 percent in February 2014.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 5.4 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the drop was due to fewer layoffs and more new jobs. Many of the gains came in business, construction, education, government, and leisure and hospitality.

Nearly 39 percent fewer new claims for unemployment insurance were filed in February as well.

Metro Gainesville had Georgia's lowest February unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.1 percent.

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Cobb County hiring hundreds of teachers

Cobb County hiring hundreds of teachers

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County School District hopes to find hundreds of new teachers through a large job fair next month.

Certified teaching positions at all levels of instruction will be available at the event. It is the district's first major hiring event in eight years. Kevin Kiger, the district's executive director of employment, said representatives from every Cobb County school will attend the career fair.

With more than 13,500 employees, the district is Cobb County's largest employer.

The job fair will be Wednesday, Apr. 15 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Smyrna Community Center, which is located at 200 Village Green Circle.

Visit teachcobb.com for more information.

Ga. health rankings: Cobb County

Ga. health rankings: Cobb County

(WXIA) -- A new report offers detailed health statistics for each of Georgia's counties.

The findings, which are posted at countyhealthrankings.org, determined that Forsyth is Georgia's healthiest county. Early is the least healthy.

Cobb is Georgia's 4th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 8th for quality of life, 3rd for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 21st for clinical care, 10th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 124th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Cobb County:

Vote on Cobb Bus Rapid Transit system could be delayed

Vote on Cobb Bus Rapid Transit system could be delayed

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee -- long a proponent of creating a Bus Rapid Transit system in Cobb -- says his plan to bring Bus Rapid Transit up for a vote in 2016 might not happen.

Lee says he won't move forward on his proposal to create the system without support from commissioners.

County commissioners have had mixed feelings on the bus system.

The system was proposed in 2012 after a study recommended a bus line to run north and south along Cobb Parkway and connect Kennesaw State University and Midtown Atlanta. Lee said earlier this year the proposed bus line could be expanded to include east/west routes.

The expanded version of the BRT is estimated to cost $700 million, up from the original proposal's projected $500 million cost.

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Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

(WXIA) -- It's going to be "more of the same" on the Atlanta area's highways and interstates this weekend, as Georgia Department of Transportation crews take to the streets.

Drivers are asked to avoid travel on interstates 20 and 285, if possible. GDOT will close lanes in several areas, which could result in lengthy delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Interstate 20

Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Langhorn and McDaniel streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between the Downtown Connector and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Pike Nurseries Becomes an Employee-owned Company

Pike Nurseries management is pleased to announce the company has combined with Armstrong Garden Centers, its sister corporation in California, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The plan transfers ownership to Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers employees through a defined contribution benefit program. 

 

“The ESOP program allows us to reward our employees for their hard work and longevity with the company,” said Mike Kunce, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers. “This structure not only enables management continuity, but also ensures the employees who have built and sustained Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers play an integral part in the future success of the business.”

 

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed to 6.2 percent in January.

That's up from December's 6.0 percent, but considerably lower than the 7.1 percent in January 2014.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent this January.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate increased because of the loss of about 35,100 jobs, mostly seasonal positions.

But the Atlanta area had the largest January-to-January job growth ever recorded, adding 104,400 jobs over the course of the year.

The metropolitan Atlanta area consists of 29 counties, including the recently added Morgan County.

Metro Gainesville had January's lowest jobless rate, at 5.2 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.3 percent.