Chilton County’s unemployment rate increases slightly

Published 3:33 pm Monday, January 27, 2014

Although the state’s December 2013 unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent from November 2013, Chilton County’s preliminary rate increased 0.1 percent from November to December 2013.

The preliminary rate for December 2013 for Chilton County was 5.1 percent with the revised November 2013 rate at 5.0 percent.

The preliminary rate for December 2013 in Chilton County did drop 1 percent from the revised December rate of 2012 that was 6.0 percent.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced last week that Alabama’s December 2013 preliminary unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, down from November’s rate of 6.2 percent and below December 2012’s rate of 6.8 percent.

December’s rate represents 129,743 unemployed people, down from 132,301 in November and 145,613 in December 2012.

The last time the state’s unemployment rate was at or below 6.1 percent was in October 2008, when the rate was 5.9 percent.

“While we are certainly pleased to announce that our unemployment rate is at a five year low, we know that we are not in a perfect situation, employment wise,” Surtees said in a release. “There are still more than 120,000 Alabamians who want a job, and we must focus our efforts on helping those people find work.”

Surtees said he would like individuals searching for jobs to continue to visit the state’s free online jobs database,

About18,000 active jobs were placed on JobLink in December 2013 and nearly 50,000 job ads were placed online statewide over various online job sites, including JobLink.

Free services provided at Alabama’s career centers include resume assistance, job search assistance, educational assistance, job training and many other services. A listing of career centers can be found at or on JobLink.

“Although we saw a slight decrease in the number of jobs in the economy in December, over the year, we saw a gain of more than 10,000 jobs,” Surtees said in a release. “Our manufacturing industry continues to grow at one of the best rates in the country, adding nearly 6,000 jobs to Alabama’s economy in 2013.”

Wage and salary employment decreased 1,400 from November to December 2013, but increased 10,500 over the past 12 months.

The industries with the largest increases were manufacturing (+5,900), leisure and hospitality (+5,600), trade, transportation and utilities (+3,900) and construction (+400).

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County at 3.8 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and St. Clair and Cullman counties at 4.8 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 14.2 percent, Bullock County at 11.6 percent and Perry County at 11.4 percent.