Unemployment rate drops in July

Published 5:37 pm Friday, August 20, 2010

The unemployment rate for Chilton County dropped below double digits from June to July, from 10.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

The comparable unemployment rate for Alabama fell to 9.7 percent in July, down from 10.3 percent in June.

July’s jobless rates represent 1,717 unemployed persons in Chilton County and 202,539 statewide.

“We are happy to announce a drop in our unemployment rate,” said Tom Surtees, Alabama Department of Industrial Relations director. “This is the lowest rate we have seen in over a year. We’ve seen our rate stabilizing over the past several months, and, hopefully, July’s rate will be the beginning of a continual drop in Alabama’s unemployment.”

The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at or below 9.7 percent was in April 2009, when the rate was recorded at 9.7 percent.

“We are also seeing even more encouraging signs in our monthly data. The number of first payments made to unemployment compensation claimants is now below 2007 levels.

In July, we also saw the lowest number of weeks claimed so far this year,” Surtees continued.

First payments in July were 12,774, compared to July 2007’s level of 13,454. The average number of weeks claimed in July was 193,502, compared to this year’s high of 273,448 in March.

Wage and salary employment declined 11,200 over the month of July with the majority of the loss resulting from seasonal losses in government.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby at 6.8 percent, Madison at 7.3 percent and Coffee at 7.4 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rate were Wilcox at 21.9 percent, Greene at 19.0 percent and Dallas at 18.3 percent.