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Chilton jobless rate sinks below 10 percent

Chilton County’s unemployment rate shrank slightly to 9.9 percent in April, down from 10.8 percent in March, the state Department of Industrial Relations announced Friday.

In April 2009, the county rate was 8.6 percent, which translates to 1,633 jobless persons in Chilton County, compared to 1,837 in April of this year.

Not much changed statewide either, as Alabama’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from March to April at 11 percent.

“We’ve seen relatively little change in the rate over the past six months,” said DIR director Tom Surtees. “While I am not yet ready to call the leveling out of the unemployment rate a trend, we are certainly cautiously optimistic that the rise in unemployment has ceased and we’ll eventually see a decline.”

Wage and salary employment in Alabama increased 14,200 over the month of April, Surtees announced. April’s unemployment rate represents 228,333 unemployed Alabamians.

Most of the upturn resulting from gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, the construction sector, the professional and business services sector, the government sector, the manufacturing sector, the educational and health services sector, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

Alabama’s unemployment rates for the past six months are as follows: April 2010: 11.0 percent, March 2010: 11.0 percent, February 2010: 11.1 percent, January 2010: 11.1 percent, December 2009: 10.9 percent, and November 2009: 10.9 percent.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Madison at 7.6 percent, Shelby at 7.7 percent and Coffee at 7.7 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox at 24.5 percent, Monroe at 20.0 percent and Dallas at 18.7 percent.