Most counties in Georgia would be glad to have Cherokee County's lower than average 6.9 percent unemployment rate.
That's little to cheer about for the almost 8,000 local residents who don't have jobs, however.
Cherokee County's labor force is larger at 115,307. Because of this, having 7,935 people not working puts the unemployment rate only slightly higher at 6.9 percent in December.
But that's a half a percent higher than in November 2012. A year earlier the Cherokee unemployment rate was worse at 7.4 percent.
Forsyth County – 6.5%
Forsyth County's unemployment rate of 6.5 percent in December 2012 was only beaten by tiny Harris County's 6.2 percent, which has 76,000 fewer people in the labor force.
A combination of a larger labor force and more people losing jobs increased Forsyth's preliminary unemployment rate by fourth tenths of a percent, compared to the final November 2011 rate of 6.1 percent. A year ago the unemployment rate was even higher at 6.8 percent.
Forsyth had 93,192 people in the labor force last month, an increase of 135 workers. The number of unemployed increased by 326. This includes new workers to the labor force and other workers who filed for unemployment claims.
Bartow County – 8.6%
Heading west to Bartow County, the unemployment rate matched the statewide level of 8.6 percent. A slightly larger labor force of 49,829 compared to November 2012, plus an increase in people looking for jobs add three tenths of a percent to the unemployment statistic.
Cobb County – 7.6%
Cobb County beat the statewide and metro Atlanta unemployment rates of 8.6 and 8.4 percent respectively. One of the state's larger county's, Cobb had a 7.6 percent unemployment rate last month. That's fourth tenths of a percent higher than it was the previous month, but it's half a percent lower than it was a year ago.
Cobb had 360,618 people in the labor force in December, and 28,922 of them were counted as jobless. The county added more than 6,500 people to its labor force in a year's time.
Paulding County – 8.0%
More than 74,000 people are in Paulding County's labor force. But almost 6,000 of them were unemployed last month The county had a December 2012 unemployment rate of 8 percent, a jump of half a percent in one month. Last month's unemployment rate is halfway between the November 2012 (7.5 percent) and December 2011 rates (8.5 percent).
Douglas County – 8.8%
Douglas County's unemployment rate last month was higher than the state and metro Atlanta rates. At 8.8 percent, the county's December 2012 unemployment topped the state average by two-tenths of a percent, and the metro Atlanta rate by four tenths of a percent.
Douglas added 206 residents to the labor force in a month, and also had 366 more people counted as unemployed. This caused an increase of four tenths of a percent since November 2012.
Fulton County – 9.3%
Fulton County has the largest labor force in the state, and one of the higher unemployment rates in the region. With 460,779 workers and 42,728 of them unemployed, the county had a December jobless rate of 9.3 percent. This number still fell short of the 9.7 percent unemployment rate of a year ago.