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First time claims for unemployment benefits dropped in Rome and Floyd County during June. In fact, the number of initial claims filed by residents of the entire 15-county Northwest Georgia region were down last month.

In Rome and Floyd County 278 residents filed a claim for benefits in June, that was down from 301 in May and down slightly from 292 in June a year ago.

“We like the trajectory of that,” said Rome-Floyd Chamber Interim President Jeanne Krueger. “I think there are great jobs in Rome and Floyd County for people at every level, whether they are a young professional or they are looking for a different type of work in retail or manufacturing.”

All of the counties adjacent to Floyd saw a dip in jobless claims for June, except Walker County which did see a spike of almost 33% from May to June.

The first time claims, a call for assistance from a worker who has not filed a claim during the preceding 12 months, provides a barometer of emerging unemployment. The initial claims data typically has a higher impact on the financial markets.

If initial jobless claims are down, the market will often rally upwards under the assumption that more people are working, therefore there is more disposable income in the market. Conversely, should the first time claims go up, the market may slip.

The claims data, however, cannot always be linked entirely to the economic well being of a specific county. The claims data is representative of residents of a specific geographic area, however the jobs they have lost, or temporarily been laid off from, may be in another community. If John Doe, a resident of Armuchee, loses his job in Dalton, the claim number is recorded as being in Floyd County and not Whitfield County.

Across the 15-county region, which includes Dade, Catoosa, Walker, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Gordon, Chattooga, Floyd, Bartow, Polk, Paulding and Haralson counties, 1,595 first time claims were filed in June, down 14.6% from 1,868 in May and down 6.1% from 1,698 in June a year ago.