County’s jobless rate down more than 1 percent from year ago

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chilton County’s unemployment rate for January was down more than 1 percent from one year ago.

The preliminary rate for January, which was released Tuesday by Gov. Robert Bentley’s Office, was 5.8 percent.

Chilton County’s revised jobless rate in January 2014 was 7.1 percent; the revised rate for December 2014 was 5.1 percent.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate was 6 percent, down from December 2014’s revised rate of 6.1 percent and below January 2014’s rate of 7.2 percent.

“January’s rate marks 14 months with no increase in our unemployment rate,” Bentley said in a press release. “For the past two months, more than 2 million people are working in this state, which hasn’t happened since November 2008. We continue to remain hopeful that our economy is turning around and Alabamians are gaining employment.”

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate across the United States was reported at 5.7 percent for January, 5.6 percent in December 2014 and 6.6 percent in January 2014.

Chilton County’s employment was reported at 17,776 in January, while unemployment was at 1,098.

One year ago, the county’s employment was 17,743, and unemployment was 1,350.

The number of people reported as employed in Alabama by the Current Population Survey in January is 2,006,903, and 2,001,069 in December 2014. The last time this number was as high was November 2008, when the number of people reported working was 2,007,253.

“Our economy is supporting the largest number of jobs since 2008,” Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in the release. “The annual increase in jobs, year over year, is the second highest we’ve experienced in the past decade. That’s certainly great news and shows that Alabama’s employers are continuing to hire.”

According to the establishment survey, over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 37,400, with gains in the professional and business services sector (plus-9,700), the leisure and hospitality sector (6,900), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (6,600), among others. Monthly gains were seen in the information sector, the financial activities sector, and the “other services” sector.

The only time the year over year growth was higher was January 2006, when growth was 45,100.

JobLink, the state’s online free jobs database (, registered 19,777 active job orders in January.

Sixty six of 67 counties experienced drops in their unemployment rates over the year. Only Colbert County saw an increase, of 0.2 percentage points. Wilcox County saw a yearly drop of 5.4 percentage points.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.2 percent, Lee County at 5.2 percent, and Elmore, Tuscaloosa and St. Clair counties at 5.3 percent.

January unemployment rates for other counties surrounding Chilton include Autauga at 5.4 percent, Bibb at 6.6 percent, Coosa at 8 percent, Dallas at 10.3 percent and Perry at 10.8 percent.