First time claims for unemployment assistance filed by Floyd County residents dropped 64% from July to August.

The Georgia Department of Labor indicates that 237 Floyd County residents filed an initial claim for assistance in August, down from 568 in July. The number of new claims in August was also down slightly, 3.7% from the 246 first-time claims filed in August a year ago.

The decline was part of a trend seen across the entire 15-county Northwest Georgia region. Residents in the northwest corner of the state including Dade, Catoosa, Walker, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Gordon, Bartow, Chattooga, Floyd, Polk, Haralson and Paulding counties filed 2,006 first time claims in August, down 37.6% from the 3,213 claims filed in July.

A first time claim is one that is filed by someone who has not filed for unemployment aid in the preceding 12 months.

Ken Wright, director of business and industry services at the Rome Floyd Chamber indicated last month that one of the reasons for the decline is that July is a month when a lot of manufacturers make scheduled shut downs for maintenance.

As a result some employees become eligible for what are called partial benefits during those scheduled shutdowns. A lot of people whose jobs are related to public education also return to work in August.

Statewide, the unemployment rate for August was set at 3.6%, unchanged from July. That is, however, a decline of 0.2% from August of a year ago.County-by-county rates will be released by the state next week. The jobless rate for Floyd County was 4.6% in July.

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