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Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 6.5 percent in November.

That's down five-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.0 percent. The rate was also 7.0 percent in November 2013.

Gwinnett County's November unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the Atlanta area added nearly 18,000 jobs in November. Many of the new jobs are in transportation, administrative services, health care, food service, finance and manufacturing, according to data from the Georgia Department of Labor. Unemployment insurance claims also dropped last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest November unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent. The highest was 9.0 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area: Just make it through this weekend, and then you'll get a much-needed break.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will suspend all construction-related lane closures from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Until then, many of the usual areas will see crews hard at work through next Monday morning.

As always, all work is weather permitting. A complete list of closures and possible delays can be found at 511ga.org.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed for about one mile past Six Flags Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint and header replacement.

Coweta County
* One northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles south of Highway 14 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for barrier wall setting.

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

(WXIA) -- Drivers are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 20 on Atlanta's west side this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews will perform several road projects on I-20 as well as other areas of metro Atlanta. Lane closures and delays are expected.

All work is weather permitting.

This weekend's work by county includes:

Cobb County
* Two northbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon for pavement repairs.
* Two southbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. for pavement repairs.

Gwinnett parents upset about redistricting plan


SUWANEE, Ga -- Hundreds of concerned parents filled a Gwinnett County Public School Board Hearing tonight hoping they could change the board's plans for redistricting. Thirty-one schools and some 14,000 students are affected by the proposed changes.

The population is growing in central and west Gwinnett County more schools were needed to house the new students. In order to fill them, some students will be forced to pick up their books and move. For parents invested in their child's education, that's tough to take.

Hero Central: Community rallies after Suwanee house fire


SUWANEE, Ga. -- As most of us sat down for turkey last Thursday, a Suwanee family needed to figure out how to rebuild.

Their home was destroyed in a fire the night before.

Now the community is stepping up to help.

"The reality is, they still need financial help," said neighbor Mei Lin Hsieh. "There's no way they can put together what they built for 12 years overnight."

The homeowners did not want to go on camera but told 11Alive's Matt Pearl how they moved from Vietnam 12 years ago and started in America from scratch. Now they must do so again.

But this time, they have help.

Atlanta-area unemployment decreases in October

Atlanta-area unemployment decreases in October

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell again last month.

October's rate was 7.0 percent, down from September's 7.3 percent. It was 7.6 percent in October 2013.

Gwinnett County's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the area added 18,800 jobs in October, which contributed to the rate decrease. Metro Atlanta has added nearly 58,000 jobs since October of last year. Fewer area residents filed for unemployment insurance last month too.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest October unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.3 percent.

Last weekend of roadwork for a while

Last weekend of roadwork for a while

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has good news and bad news.

The bad news: Scheduled road maintenance will make weekend commutes difficult in several spots around Atlanta.

The good news: It's the last major construction weekend before workers take a break for Thanksgiving.

This weekend's projects include:

Clayton County
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed at Highway 138 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete replacement.

Clayton/Henry counties
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between Hudson Bridge Road/Eagles Landing Parkway and Mount Zion Boulevard from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday for concrete slab replacement.