County’s unemployment shows slight decrease

Published 3:07 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

Chilton County’s preliminary unemployment rate for November of 5.2 percent is down 0.1 percent from the October rate of 5.3 percent.

The county’s preliminary unemployment rate is also 1.1 percent down from the October 2014 rate of 6.3 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate is 6.0 percent.

“We are coming closer and closer to hitting that golden wage and salary employment number of 2 million jobs,” Bentley said in a release. “We are less than 25,000 jobs shy of attaining pre-recession employment levels in Alabama. We haven’t seen wage and salary employment at two million since June 2008, prior to the recession’s effects in our state. Our economy is strong, and my goal is that every Alabamian who wants a job can obtain one.”

Alabama Labor Department Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in a release that the very slight uptick in November’s unemployment rate was due to the fact that more people entered the workforce, perhaps looking for seasonal employment.

“Additionally, more people are employed both over the month and over the year, so this small increase is not necessarily bad news.”

The Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased in November to 2,146,294 from 2,141,221in October and from 2,130,131 in November 2014 (seasonally adjusted). CLF employment also increased to 2,018,189 from 2,014,056 in October and from 1,999,222 in November 2014.

Wage and salary employment increased in November by 12,800 to 1,975,700. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (9,100), the education and health services sector (2,800), and the government sector (1,800), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 24,900, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (6,400), the education and health services sector (5,900), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (4,800), and the construction sector (4,700), among others.

“The fact that the construction sector continues to show improvement over the year is another good sign for Alabama’s economy,” Washington said. “Construction employment hasn’t been this healthy since 2010. If construction is occurring, then confidence in the economy is generally optimistic.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and Elmore, Cullman and St. Clair counties at 4.8 percent.