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County unemployment rises slightly

By Justin Averette

Chilton County’s unemployment rate rose slightly from August to September.
The percentage of workers without jobs increased from 9.8 percent to 9.9 percent.
Though up, the numbers were still better than the state’s average. Unemployment statewide rose from 10.3 percent in August to 10.7 percent in September. That represents about 223,000 Alabamians without work.
“While we are certainly disappointed that our unemployment rate has continued to rise, we realize that we are not alone in this situation,” said Tom Surtees, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.
“The entire country is experiencing increases in unemployment rates due to the effects of this worldwide recession.”
Surtees said if there is any silver lining it may be the fact that initial unemployment claims drop to their lowest level of the year, meaning fewer people are applying compensation benefits.
There were 28,000 unemployment claims in September, compared to the year’s high of 61,000 in January.
Most of the job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, and financial activities. Monthly gains occurred in government, education and health services, construction, and professional and business services.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rate were: Madison at 7.5 percent, Shelby at 7.6 percent, and Coffee at 8.5 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rate were Wilcox at 25.6 percent and Dallas at 21.1 percent