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County's jobless rate nears 5 percent

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's jobless rate rose to 4.8 percent in September, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

Gwinnett's unemployment increased from 4.3 percent in August and 4 percent last September. There are some positive trends behind those numbers, said John Lawrence, the labor department's assistant director of work force information and analysis.

About 9,450 more Gwinnett residents have jobs compared to last September, Lawrence said. But metro Atlanta's job creation is averaging about 1 percent over the past year.

"The job growth is positive, but slow," Lawrence said.

Gwinnett's September jobless rate is lower than Georgia's and metro Atlanta's, which both climbed to 5.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, according to the Labor Department.

Georgia lost 5,800 jobs in September, with the largest losses coming in the leisure and hospitality industry, the Labor Department said. During the same period last year, Georgia lost 19,100 jobs. In Buford, Office Depot plans 35 job cuts starting Nov. 18, according to the Labor Department. KMC Telecom will lay off 60 workers starting Dec. 31.