Mark Butler, Georgia’s Labor Commissioner, has reported that Metro Rome’s initial unemployment claims skyrocketed in March. Each of Georgia’s MSAs (or metropolitan statistical areas) saw a dramatic increase in first-time claims, as well as the unemployment rate, as revealed in the latest report by the state Department of Labor.

Rome’s unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent last month, an increase from 3.7 percent in February and from 3.8 percent in March 2019.

Butler attests, “Although we are seeing the effects of COVID-19 throughout the state in spikes in unemployment, we are working very diligently to come up with solutions to get Georgians back to work as soon as it is safe.”

The number of unemployment claims rose by 896 percent last month, which directly correlated with the number of temporary lay-offs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Claims were up by about 988 percent in comparison to last year.

Northwest Georgia’s initial unemployment claims (as a whole) climbed in March. Claims were up over the month by 895 percent and over the year by about 680 percent. The region’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent last month, up from 3.6 percent in February and in March 2019.