Unemployment down from one year ago

Published 3:13 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

Chilton County’s unemployment rate for January increased slightly from December 2015, but the rate is below January 2015’s mark.

The county’s preliminary unemployment rate is 5.9 percent.

The rate was 5.5 percent in December 2015 and 6 percent in January 2015.

The information was released by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s office.

The state seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, down from the December 2015 rate of 6.3 percent but up from the January 2015 rate of 6 percent.

“We remain committed to lowering Alabama’s unemployment rate, but we are even more committed to making sure that every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one,” Bentley said in a press release. “We are making significant progress towards that goal. This month’s jobs numbers are showing some of the best growth we have seen in years, and we are encouraged by the momentum. We will not stop in our mission to bring quality jobs to Alabama, and help our existing businesses become even more successful.”

Chilton County’s rate represents 1,108 unemployed residents, compared to 1,047 in December 2015 and 1,125 in January 2015.

There were 17,648 employed residents in the county in January, compared to 17,980 in December 2015 and 17,695 in January 2015.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Elmore County and Lee County at 5.3 percent, and Autauga County and St. Clair County at 5.4 percent.

Other Chilton County neighbors include Coosa County at 6.6 percent, Elmore County at 5.3 percent, Dallas County at 9.4 percent, Perry County at 10.1 percent and Bibb County at 7.1 percent.

“January’s rate contains some interesting and positive data,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in the release. “There is almost no change in the rate, mainly due to the fact that there were more people in the labor force and more people were employed. These are both good signs, because it means that people are continuing to display confidence in the economy and that they are able to find work. In fact, the number of people counted as employed in January is higher than it has been since October 2008.”

The Civilian Labor Force increased in January by 8,183 to 2,154,061. The number of persons employed increased in January by 8,178 to 2,019,653. The last time this number was at or above this number was in October 2008, when it was 2,021,511.

“Wage and salary employment, which is the measure we use to track job growth, is also showing strides over the year,” Washington said. “It increased by nearly 19,000 jobs, proving to be the strongest January we’ve experienced since 2008, and the fourth strongest January over the last 12 years.”

Wage and salary employment measured 1,930,300 in January 2016. The last time wage and salary employment was at or above this level was in January 2008, when it measured 1,986,000, the strongest January since 2004. January 2007 and 2006, respectively, took the second and third slots.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 18,800, with gains in the education and health services sector (plus-5,700), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (5,400), and the professional and business services sector (4,600), among others.