County’s unemployment rate shows slight increase for May

Published 3:31 pm Friday, June 19, 2015

Chilton County’s preliminary unemployment rate of 6.1 percent for May showed a slight increase of 1.2 percent from April.

The revised unemployment rate for April was 4.9 percent, which was down from the May 2014 rate of 5.6 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced on Friday that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted May unemployment rate is 6.1 percent.

“Earlier this year, leading economists at the University of Alabama predicted that our wage and salary employment would grow by 33,800,” Bentley said in a release. “I am proud to say that only five months into 2015, we’ve added 34,800 jobs, already surpassing job growth predictions. Our effort to create jobs is strong, and we will continue until every Alabamian has an opportunity to find a job.”

Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said although there is an increase in the unemployment rate this month the news is not bad.

“Both employment measures registered gains, which is clear evidence that Alabamians are going back to work,” Washington said in a release. “We haven’t seen wage and salary employment this high in May since 2008. Additionally, household employment also increased by more than 47,000 since last year.”

Wage and salary employment increased in May by 9,400, rising to 1,958,100. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business sector (2,700), the leisure and hospitality sector (1,900), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (1,700), among others. The last time wage and salary employment was equal to or above 1,958,100 was May 2008, when it was 2,012,500.

Over the year, wage and salary employment has increased by 30,500, with gains in the professional and business services sector (7,000), the leisure and hospitality sector (6,300), and the education and health services sector (6,200), among others.

Current Population Survey, or household, employment was recorded at 2,038,731 in May, representing a monthly increase of 6,900 and 47,488 over the year.

“It is not surprising to see an increase in the unemployment rate in the summer months due to more people entering the workforce,” Washington said in a release. “Students and recent graduates tend to enter the job market during these times and begin their job searches.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.2 percent, Lee County at 5.1 percent, and Elmore County at 5.1 percent.