Unemployment rate rises in June

Published 6:56 pm Friday, July 20, 2012

Chilton County’s unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent, according to numbers released Friday.

The county’s preliminary jobless rate for June was up from May’s 6.6 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate rose in June to 7.8 percent, up from May’s 7.4 percent.

June’s rate represents 168,775 unemployed persons, compared to 159,192 last month and 203,875 in June 2011.

The rate is significantly lower than June 2011’s 9.3 percent.

“Just as with last month, we are experiencing an expected, seasonal increase in the labor force,” said Tom Surtees, Alabama Department of Industrial Relations director. “People looking for summer work as well as teachers and education employees who are not working over the summer are entering the job market. Since the unemployment rate is simply the percentage of people in the labor force who are not working, this increase will inevitably raise the unemployment rate.”

Although the unemployment rate did increase, unemployment claims continue to fall.

Initial unemployment compensation claims are down by 20 percent from a year ago, and the amount paid in claims is down by 21.5 percent.

Alabama’s online jobs database, www.joblink.alabama.gov, is consistently registering more jobs than at any time in the site’s history, even eclipsing the spikes created by temporary jobs following the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010 and the April 2011 tornadoes.

In June, JobLink saw a record breaking 15,690 jobs available.

“We are seeing jobs, especially on JobLink,” Surtees said. “I’d like to encourage anyone seeking employment to take a few minutes and register on the site. The staff at our Career Centers throughout the state can also assist in the search for employment.”

A listing of available jobs, along with a listing of local Career Centers, can be found at www.joblink.alabama.gov.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 6.1 percent, Coffee County at 7.3 percent and Limestone County at 7.4 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 18.8 percent, Lowndes County at 16.5 percent and Dallas County at 16.3 percent.