Some 2,369 Floyd citizens made initial claims with the Department of Labor, up from 1,350 first time claimants in November.
“That’s much higher than I would have anticipated. It’s my hope that we’ve bottomed out,” said Al Hodge, president of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce.
The state actually pumped more than $1.6 million in unemployment benefits into Floyd County during December. That was up by more than $600,000 from the total of jobless benefits issued to Floyd County citizens in November. The average weekly unemployment check added up to a little more than $224 in December.
Construction and manufacturing jobs took the largest hit in December with nearly a third of the layoffs in Floyd County.
There was some degree of good news in the DOL report issued Friday. While first-time claims in Floyd County and its neighbors were up from November to December, all were down as compared to December 2008.
Floyd County first-time claims in December were down 20.9 percent from December of 2008. Bartow County’s initial claims dropped by 55.7 percent from the prior December; Gordon County experienced a 35.4 percent year-to-year decline, Polk County’s initial claims dropped by 37 percent while Chattooga County was down a modest 3.7 percent.