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Jobless rate for December remains low

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

The unemployment rate for Chilton County during the month of December held at 2.3%, the same mark posted in November.

The Alabama Department of Labor released the statewide statistics Jan. 24.

While the rate did not drop from the previous month, it was almost a full percent lower than the 3.2% mark posted in December 2018.

Chilton County posted a civilian labor force of 20,031 in December, up 15 people from the month prior.

Of those, 19,576 were listed as employed, with only 455 labeled unemployed.

Chilton County began the year at an unemployment rate of 4.0% and steadily lowered most months. The average unemployment rate for 2019 was 2.8%.

The state of Alabama ended a record-setting 2019 by posting a 2.7% for December, down from 3.8% a year ago.

“I’m so proud to be able to close out this decade with record-breaking economic measures,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “All year long, we’ve had good news to share, and to be able to end the year, and the decade, on such a positive note is wonderful.

“Earlier this year, Alabama had never reported an unemployment rate lower than 3.0%, and now we’ve had one for the last three months! Nearly 84,000 more people have jobs now than last year. I’m excited about the path that Alabama is on, and the positive impacts this news has on our people.”

There were 2,266,198 people employed in Alabama during December 2019. That number is almost 62,000 higher than the previous year.

According to the Department of Labor, Alabama’s job growth rate for December is 2.2%. It surpasses the national job growth rate of 1.4%.

“For the 11th month in a row, our job growth has met or surpassed the nation’s,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “We’ve gained over 46,000 jobs since last December, and we continue to see employers posting job ads.”

Shelby County once again posted the lowest unemployment rate in December with a 1.8%. Wilcox County was once again the highest at 6.8%.