Unemployment same as it was a year ago

Published 11:34 am Friday, September 16, 2011

Chilton County’s unemployment rate sits at 9.5 percent — exactly where it was one year ago.

The county’s jobless rate for August rose from July’s rate of 9.3 percent. The new 9.5 percent figure is identical to what unemployment was in August 2010.

Those numbers are still lower than the statewide average of 9.9 percent unemployment. Overall, Alabama’s jobless rate fell a tenth of a percent, down from July’s rate of 10 percent.

The August rate represents 213,412 unemployed people statewide and 1,849 in Chilton County.

There is some optimistic news though: statewide there are 28,000 more jobs in August than there were at the beginning of the year. In August, statewide employment was 1,949,824 compared to January’s employment, which was 1,921,819.

“We continue to see minor fluctuations in our unemployment rate, but I think the better indicator of our job market is the fact that we are consistently seeing our employment numbers rise, which is definitely a good sign,” said Tom Surtees, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. “This means that more people are going to work in Alabama.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rate were: Shelby at 6.8 percent, Coffee at 7.4 percent and Madison at 8.1 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox at 22.3 percent, Perry at 18.9 percent and Dallas at 18.7 percent.