Polk County sees 47% drop in jobless claims

All five Northwest Georgia counties saw a double-digit drop in first-time jobless assistance claims in May but compared to the same month last year, it was a far different story. Polk County, stung earlier this year by the loss of 80 jobs at HON Co., saw 491 claims last month, down nearly 47 percent from April but up 81.2 percent from a year earlier. In Floyd, 1,024 claims were filed, down almost 35 percent from April but up 35.6 percent from May 2008. Statewide, 75,436 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in May, an increase of 68.7 percent from May 2008 but down 10.6 percent from April. Workers in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services were among the largest decline.  Also, the number of jobless workers receiving unemployment insurance benefits rose 110 percent over the year, from 74,981 in May of 2008 to 157,544 in May of 2009.