Chilton County’s jobless rate ticks upward

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chilton County’s preliminary unemployment rate for January was higher than the December 2013 rate but still lower than the January 2013 rate.

The county’s preliminary rate for January was 6.2 percent, compared to revised rates of 5.1 percent for December 2013 and 7 percent for January 2013.

The state’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged from December 2013 to January, at 6.1 percent, which is lower than the January 2013 rate of 6.7 percent.

“Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers, we saw growth in both the labor force and the number of people working in Alabama in January, and those are positive signs,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said in a press release. “Additionally, the number of job orders we received on JobLink have, once again, set a record for the highest number of job orders in the history of the site.

“Although the number of jobs reported decreased, this is a common occurrence in January, and is due, in large part, to retailers laying off seasonal help.”

The number of people working in Alabama in January increased to 1,990,637 from 1,984,264 in December 2013 (seasonally adjusted). The Civilian Labor Force, or people who are either working or actively seeking work, increased to 2,121,081 from 2,113,897 in December 2013 (seasonally adjusted).

In January, there were 21,315 active job orders on JobLink, Alabama’s free online jobs database, the highest number recorded in the site’s nine-year history.

Wage and salary employment, which is the measure of how many jobs Alabama’s economy supports and is reported by employers, decreased 33,600 over the month. The losses were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, primarily in retail trade, the leisure and hospitality sector, and the professional and business services sector, among others.

Over the past 12 months (January 2013-January 2014), wage and salary employment increased 20,400. Gains were due to increases in the leisure and hospitality sector, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, education and health services sector, and the manufacturing sector, among others.

Counties with lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Lee County at 5.5 percent, and Limestone and Cullman Counties at 5.8 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 16.4 percent, Perry County at 13.2 percent and Bullock County at 12.7 percent.

The January unemployment rates for other counties bordering Chilton include: Talladega at 7.2 percent, Coosa at 8.8, Elmore at 6.4, Autauga at 5.9, Dallas at 12.6 and Bibb at 6.9.

Chilton County’s rate represents 1,228 unemployed residents.