The Georgia Department of Labor paid out more than $11.5 million in unemployment benefits to out of work Floyd county residents in 2020.
The influx of money from the state last year was more than 34.1% higher than the last three years combined.
Floyd County ended the year with a 4.8% unemployment rate in December, the highest since December of 2016 when the year end rate was 5.7%.
Floyd County has been on a steady decline in terms of the jobless rate since emerging from the recession in 2013 with a 7.7% rate in December.
Since then, the numbers have fallen to 6.8% in 2014, 5.9% in 2015, 5.7% in 2016, 4.6% in 2017, 4.4% in 2018 leading to a record year-end low of 3.7% in 2019.
An astonishing statistic for 2020 is that 43,122 Floyd County residents filed a first time claim for unemployment assistance at some point the calendar year.
That’s more than the 42,960 Floyd County residents who were on a payroll in December.
A first time claim is one that is filed on behalf of someone who had not filed for unemployment compensation during the preceding 12 months.
The number of working Floyd County residents has fluctuated over the last eight years, from 43,824 people who had a job in December of 2013 to a low of 38,427 in April of this year — the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While unemployment assistance is important to someone who is not getting a regular paycheck, the Georgia Department of Labor reported that in December, the average weekly wage for all industries in Rome was $841, the average weekly unemployment check was $231.