Cherokee Tops Georgia for Lowest Unemployment

Cherokee County officials aren’t surprised that the county now has the lowest unemployment rate in the state.

With the vast array of jobs and the county’s ongoing commitment to businesses here, the latest unemployment figures from the state Department of Labor add up to some good news.

Cherokee tied for the lowest unemployment rate in Georgia for August at 4.1 percent, along with Forsyth and Oconee counties.

Marshall Day, chairman of the board for the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, said historically Cherokee County has enjoyed a relatively low unemployment rate, mainly because of its education workforce.

“The increase of economic activity affords the residents of Cherokee even more job opportunities,” he said. “We look forward to having even more job availability for our residents so that we can reduce the out commute; giving families more time together while helping to relieve traffic congestion.”

Cherokee County Commissioner Chairman Buzz Ahrens see the success just getting better.

“For as long as I can remember, (Cherokee County) has been either the No. 1 or No. 2 lowest unemployment rates in (metro Atlanta),” Ahrens said Thursday. “Business is strong, and growing. I’d rather look at the mix of employment sectors, not the unemployment, where are we growing in segments? It will begin to shift based on the new investment and local expansion and other initiatives — incubator, co-op, internships, etc.”

Ahrens points to his “Unique Selling Points” list, which includes economic development, fiscal integrity, quality growth and environmental stewardship as the core basis to why residents are coming and staying in Cherokee County.

Cherokee County provides room to breathe, foothills to the Blue Ridge Mountains, water recreation, equine character, Native American heritage and it’s “pro-business,” according to the list.

In public safety, the county holds many accolades such as national law enforcement accreditation; national marshal accreditation, which is one of only three in the U.S.; a new fire training center; the No. 1 emergency medical services agency in Georgia; a new law enforcement training center and E911 national accreditation, the list said.

Cherokee County schools recently reported the second highest SAT score in Georgia. The county has the No. 1 waste water and water treatment plan of the year, a diverse labor force, state acclaimed Chamber of Commerce and a $90 million recreation plan, consisting of parks, trails, aquatic center and green space.

Commissioner Scott Gordon said Cherokee has not one but two campuses of the largest technical college in the state — Reinhardt University in the city of Waleska.

“With outstanding access to education, our citizens are better prepared to enter the workplace and our businesses have access to more quality candidates,” he said.

Pam Carnes, president and CEO of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, said the lowest unemployment rate in Georgia is a reflection of Cherokee County’s continued growth and economic stability.

“Just as when we have reflected on previous declines in the unemployment rate, again any decrease is positive as it means our residents are obtaining employment in order to sustain themselves and their families,” she said. “Our workforce is both seeking and obtaining work which is the positive turn we want as Cherokee County continues to flourish.”

To learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers, and to connect on social media, visit

“Stay tuned folks, there are more opportunities coming,” Ahrens said.