County unemployment rate shows downward trend

Published 11:11 am Friday, December 21, 2012

The unemployment rate for Chilton County continued with a downward trend in an announcement made on Friday.

November’s preliminary unemployment rate has slightly decreased by 0.4 percent since October and decreased 0.7 percent from November’s 2011 rate. The preliminary rate for November was 6.5 percent that was down from October’s rate of 6.9 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama’s preliminary November unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent. The number was down from October’s preliminary rate of 8.1 percent and below the November 2011 rate of 8.3 percent.

Alabama’s November 2012 unemployment rate is also below the national rate of 7.7 percent. The state’s November rate represents 162, 182 unemployed people compared to October’s rate of 174,867.

“We are going to continue on the same path of working hard every day to recruit and attract more jobs for this state,” Bentley said in a release. “The unemployment rate can fluctuate given the time of the year. We are encouraged that the overall trend shows a decreasing unemployment rate and I will continue my efforts to create more jobs until everyone who wants a job is able to find one.”

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said November’s rate indicated Alabama employers were expecting a strong holiday season.

“The increase in retail hiring means that many people have jobs this Christmas that may otherwise have not,” Surtees said in a release. “Even if some of the jobs are temporary that still means thousands of Alabamians will be able to provide for their families during the holiday season. Sixty-six of 67 counties experienced a drop in their unemployment rate this month.”

Retail trade employment increased by 3,700 in November, with the bulk of the increase coming from hiring in general merchandise and department stores.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Lee County and Madison County at 5.6 percent and St. Clair County, Coffee County, Blount County and Limestone County at 5.7 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 15.9 percent, Bullock County at 14.1 percent and Dallas County at 13.2 percent.