County’s unemployment shows slight increase

Published 3:54 pm Friday, March 25, 2016

Chilton County’s 6.1 preliminary unemployment rate for February increased 0.2 percent from the January 2016 rate of 5.9 percent.

The rate of 6.1 percent is also 0.3 percent higher from the revised February 2015 rate of 5.8 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is 6.2 percent.

“The momentum that we are seeing in our employment numbers continues to be encouraging,” Bentley said in a release. “Our mission to provide all Alabamians with a job remains my top priority. The growth that we are consistently seeing, combined with the regular announcements of new jobs coming to the state, is helping us to achieve that goal. Our economy is supporting 106,900 more jobs now than when I took office in January 2011. But there’s still a lot of work to do, and I remain committed to doing that work.”

Betty Tidwell, instructor and office manager at Kelsey’s Place in Clanton, said she was not surprised to hear that Chilton County’s unemployment rate showed a slight increase.

“People apply for jobs, but then they don’t want to work at the job. There are plenty of places that are hiring in Chilton County as well as neighboring counties in Shelby and Autauga. You can drive and see sign after sign of people hiring, but people aren’t motivated to get out and find a job,” Tidwell said.

Kelsey’s Place is a non-profit organization offering job readiness classes for adults in Chilton and nearby counties seeking employment.

Kelsey’s Place provides a Job Readiness Program for the recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Chilton County Department of Human Resources.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in a release that no change in the state’s unemployment rate is good news this month.

“We continue to see high numbers of employed people, which again is topping two million,” Washington said in a release. “We have consistently seen over two million employed people for 21 straight months. Additionally, a high number of people are in the workforce, which tells us that people are confident in the labor market. People haven’t shown this level of confidence in the job market in over three years.”

measured 2,167,852.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.7 percent, Elmore County at 5.4 percent, and Lee County at 5.5 percent.

Other neighboring counties included Dallas County at 9.6 percent, Perry County at 10.1 percent and Bibb County at 7.1 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 4.1 percent, Homewood at 4.4 percent, and Hoover at 4.5 percent.