New unemployment claims filed by out of work Rome and Floyd County residents registered a sharp increase in December.
The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday the first time claims filed in December jumped to 1,749, a 76.7% increase from November and a 59.1% increase from December a year ago.
First time claims are those filed by people who have not sought unemployment assistance in the preceding 12 months.
The monthly unemployment claims report from the Department of Labor indicates that first time claims went up by 80.5% across the 15-county Northwest Georgia region.
State labor officials also reported that Floyd County gained 400 jobs from November to December, landing at an even 43,000 jobs attributed to locally based payrolls.
That is the highest number of jobs listed on local area payrolls over the past year.
While the monthly jobs report brought a mixed bag of good and not-so-good news, local job recruiters spent time this week with Georgia Power economic developers taking a look at what sectors are drawing workers to Rome.
Members of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and the Development Authority of Floyd County also learned how many local residents are leaving the community for work.
Tracey Ussery with Georgia Power used 2018 data to report that 15,660 residents of Floyd County actually worked at jobs in the county. Another 18,314 Floyd County residents worked outside of the county and 15,718 people commuted into Rome and Floyd County for jobs.
Of those who commuted into Rome, Polk County was the leading contributor, followed by Bartow and then Chattooga.
Of the jobs drawing people from other communities into Rome, fast food and counter workers was the No. 1 occupation followed by registered nurses and laborers.
The data shows that nearly 50% more of the registered nurses who work in Rome and Floyd County come from other communities.
The data from Georgia Power is part of the utility’s research and economic development package available to companies considering a location in Rome. They show that the top industries locally are in the healthcare/social assistance sector, followed by manufacturing and government.
Breaking down the manufacturing sector, automobile parts manufacturing is at the top of the jobs list with over 1,100 jobs. Pulp and paper mills follow, with a little over 500 jobs. Food manufacturing had just under 500 jobs.