New claims for unemployment compensation, a claim filed by someone who has not sought unemployment benefits in the preceding 12 months, jumped 52% in Rome from August to September.

First time claims were up from 237 filed in August to 362 that were filed in September.

The September claims were also up significantly over September of a year ago when just 172 Floyd County residents filed an initial claim.

Jeanne Krueger, president of the Rome Floyd Chamber, said she suspects many of those first time claims were filed by seasonal workers who were laid off at the end of August.

“It is cause for some concern,” Krueger said. “That’s why our work with existing industries is so critical. We’re so grateful for the reinvestment the Ball Corp. just announced.”

Ball revealed plans Wednesday for a $217.8 million expansion that will add another 145 jobs to the community over the next five years.

The report from the Georgia Department of Labor now illustrates that more than 10% of the workforce in Floyd County, over 4,000 individuals have filed an initial claim at one time or another this year.

Many of those claims are known as partial claims, when a company shuts down for routine maintenance and certain employees are allowed to file during the shutdown.

Through the month of August, the state has paid out $2,018,318 in unemployment benefits to Floyd County residents. That is actually down from the $2,863,438 that was paid out through the same first eight months of 2018.

The average weekly unemployment check sent to a Floyd County work was $268 and the average length of time a person receives benefits is just shy of six weeks.

Across the 15-county Northwest Georgia region, 2,075 residents filed a new claim in September. That number is up from 2,006 in August but down slightly from 2,113 in September a year ago.

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