The unemployment rate in Floyd County dropped near an all time low at 3.2% in April — nearly reaching the all time rate low for the area of 3.1% set in November 2000.
The last time the jobless rate was as low as 3.2% was November of 2001. However, the low unemployment rate also has a downside.
“We’ve got existing employers that are having a hard time finding employees,” said Rome Floyd Chamber Economic Development Director Heather Seckman.
“Employers are being very gracious, saying if you can come to work every day, we’ll train you. That’s the message we’re hearing.”
Seckman also said when prospective new companies hear those numbers they worry about whether or not they’ll be able to find the employees they need.
“The good news is that it is driving up wages. That’s good news for the employees,” Seckman said. “There are jobs out there. So many of our companies, manufacturing or retail, people are trying to hire and if you want a job, you can get one.”
The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the number of people in Rome and Floyd County who were unemployed but actually looking for a job fell from 1,740 in March to 1,428 in April.
Gordon County actually saw its rate fall to 2.8% in April, the lowest in the immediate area, with Whitfield County the highest at 3.9%.
The Department of Labor also reported that the number of people in the workforce, defined as those unemployed but looking, plus the number of people on a payroll somewhere, actually fell by 312 from March to April.
The monthly jobs report from Atlanta also indicated that the number of jobs attributed to payrolls that are based in Floyd County increased by 200 from March to April when 42,400 jobs were reported by local employers. That’s also an increase of 900 jobs from April a year ago.
The unemployment rate for the entire 15-county Northwest Georgia regions, including, Dade, Catoosa, Walker, Murray, Whitfield, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Gordon, Chattooga, Bartow, Floyd, Polk, Paulding and Haralson counties, fell from 3.7% in March to 3.1% in April.
Neighboring Bartow County checked in at an even 3% in April, Chattooga County was at 3.4%, Polk County was also at 3.2% and Walker County was at 3.4%.