County unemployment rate increases by 0.5 percent

Published 2:56 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

The August preliminary unemployment rate for Chilton County shows a slight increase of 0.5 percent from July’s rate of 5.5 percent.

The rate of 6.0 percent is down from the revised August 2012 rate of 7.0 percent and from the state preliminary August unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced today that Alabama’s preliminary August rate is slightly up from July’s revised rate of 6.2 percent, but significantly lower than the 2012 August rate of 7.5 percent.

August’s rate represents 134,367 unemployed people, compared to 134,847 in July and 161,435 in August 2012.

“Alabama’s August unemployment rate doesn’t really show much change over the month,” Surtees said in a release. “While we saw a slight increase in jobs, we didn’t really see much change in the number of people who remain unemployed. Getting these people back to work continues to be our top priority.”

Wage and salary employment, or the measure of the number of jobs in the economy, increased by 3,400 in August, with gains in the professional and business services sector, the educational and health services sector and the government sector.

“Although the numbers indicate that fewer people are actively looking for jobs this month, this is somewhat expected at this time of year,” Surtees said. “It is not uncommon for the labor force to decline in August, as students leave the labor market to go to school and those in the education field return to work. We are encouraged by the fact that nearly 20,000 more people are working this August than were last August.”

The Civilian Labor Force (CLF), or the number of people who are able and looking for work, was 2,149,716 in August 2013, compared to 2,159,298 in July and 2,157,965 last year. The number of people employed was 2,015,349 compared to 2,024,451 and 1,996,530 last year.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Lee County at 5.5 percent and Cullman and Baldwin counties at 5.6 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 16.0 percent, Dallas County at 14.1 percent and Perry County at 14.0 percent.