First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply in Floyd County from July to August. The encouraging numbers nevertheless reported that 596 Floyd County residents made an initial claim for help from the state last month.
The 596 first-time claims in August were down from 1,012 filed in July and down from the 815 initial claims that were filed during August of last year.
First-time claims across the 15-county Northwest Georgia region were down 41.1 percent from July to August.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, in Rome Thursday for the Northwest Georgia/Shorter University Career Expo, said the number of employers who have actual jobs and are ready to hire has encouraged him.
The Department of Labor report also claims that Rome grew 200 jobs from from August 2011 to last momth. The DOL said that Floyd County companies are responsible for 37,000 jobs in August, up from 36,800 a year ago. Dalton, on the other hand, lost 3,300 jobs from August of last year.
Butler said that he is also encouraged by the steady increase in the number of Georgians who are coming back into the workforce.
“For the last 14 months we’ve seen a tremendous increase in our workforce, which means more individuals are going out there and getting back into the job search, which means they are seeing some optimism and some hope,” Butler said. “What we’re doing is working directly with those employers where we can to help them find skill sets in the individuals who are out there and looking. The ones without skill sets, we’re working with them through workforce agencies, technical colleges, and the Governors Office of Workforce Development to help connect them with grant money, any type of assistance they might need to get the training they might need.”
Butler said that he is also encouraged by growth in construction jobs four of the last five months.
“That’s something I personally was not expecting to see for another six to eight months,” Butler said. “Construction, even though it’s not anywhere close to where we need it to be, we’re starting to see some positive signs. We have seen over the last year very positive signs in manufacturing, which is very encouraging.”