A look behind the numbers, however, shows that there were more than 600 fewer Floyd County residents drawing a paycheck in August than July. The jobless rate fell because the number of people in the workforce went down by 921.
The August rate was well below the 11.7 percent rate in August a year ago.
A spokesman for the Department of Labor in Atlanta explained that a likely reason for the large decrease in the workforce in August involves the return to classes of both local high school and college students.
The way the statistical system works involves an assortment of data gathered by both the federal and state labor offices. If a high school or college student registers with a temporary agency for help finding a summer job, they are considered part of the workforce. When they go back to school, they drop out of the workforce.
Many of those same students actually did get jobs for the summer, so the loss of 600 workers can also, at least in part, be linked to the start of school in August.
The jobless rate took a similar three-tenths-of-a-point drop across the entire 15-county Northwest Georgia region, falling from 9.7 in July to 9.4 in August.
The unemployment rate was down in each of Floyd’s neighboring communities but did show a very minimal increase in Walker and Catoosa counties.
Hiring at the Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center in Shannon could not be getting under way at a better time for the Rome area. Andy Johnson, the Regional Manager for the distribution center, told Rome Rotary Club members Thursday that the center would hire nearly 500 employees by the spring of 2013, with another large number being brought on in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the company adds its night shift team.
Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Heather Seckman said help was also on the way with the announcement this week that Foss Manufacturing would be bringing another 150 jobs to the old Mohawk facility on Huffaker Road.
“We have other companies that are looking at us,” Seckman said. “We continue to get companies visiting and looking at our industrial parks and our available buildings. We have several lined up in the coming weeks.”