County’s jobless rate down from one year ago

Published 3:38 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

Chilton County’s jobless rate is down significantly from one year ago, like much of the rest of the state.

The county’s preliminary unemployment rate released Friday is 6.2 percent, down from 6.9 percent one year ago but up slightly from June’s rate of 6.1 percent.

The preliminary rate for July represents 1,209 unemployed residents.

Chilton’s rate is lower than some of its neighbors but higher than others. Rates for neighboring counties are Shelby at 4.6 percent, Coosa at 7.4, Elmore at 5.6, Autauga at 5.9, Dallas at 11.6, Perry at 11.6 and Bibb at 7.1.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted rate for July was the same as Chilton County’s, at 6.2 percent.

“We continue to show strong yearly growth in our jobs numbers as reported by Alabama employers,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “Employment is up by more than 30,000 and is at its highest point for the same time period since 2008. This is a strong indicator that employers are continuing to hire, and we are getting closer and closer to the two million mark – numbers that reflect pre-recession employment in Alabama.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 30,700 to 1,945,600, with gains in the education and health services sector (plus-10,400), the professional and business services sector (5,600), the leisure and hospitality sector (5,400), and the construction sector (3,800), among others. The last time wage and salary employment was equal to or greater than 1,945,600 was in July 2008, when it was 1,989,000, according to a press release.

Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (plus-1,600), the education and health services sector (1,200), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (800), among others.

“The reason that our unemployment rate is virtually unchanged is mostly due to continued seasonal effects,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “It is not uncommon to see stagnant or increased unemployment rates during the summer months, as many education employees remain out of work.”

JobLink, the state’s online free jobs database (, registered 27,896 active job orders in July.

“Over the year, 66 counties experienced a drop in their unemployment rate, and the 67th county saw no change. This is excellent news,” Washington said. “Every single Alabama county is doing better now than they were one year ago.”

Choctaw County was the only county that did not see a drop in its rate, which remained unchanged.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby at 4.6 percent, Elmore and Baldwin Counties at 5.6, and Cullman and St. Clair Counties at 5.7.