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Jobless rate drops slightly

With a 10.1-percent unemployment rate for October of 2000, Butler County saw a slight decrease in November, down three-tenths of a percent to 9.8 percent.

That, according to Ron Macksoud at the State of Alabama Department of Industrial Relations is contrary to the state's overall average for the month. "Statewide, unemployment in Alabama rose in November to 4.7 percent, compared to the October jobless rate of 4.4 percent."

"Part of the increase can be attributed to layoffs in Alabama's manufacturing industry, most notably, in apparel and primary metal," said Alice McKinney, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. "The 4.7 percent unemployment rate equals the figure for November 1999."

Statewide, the November rate represents 101,700 unemployed persons, compared to 97,100 in October and 102,300 in November 1999.

The comparable national unemployment rate also increased. The U.S. rate in November was 4.0 percent, compared to October's 3.9 percent.

The majority of job gains in Alabama during the past year continued to be found in the service-producing sector. Construction jobs rose by 3,400 over the year, while factory jobs declined by 8,700.

Counties with the lowest unemployment were Shelby (1.4 percent), Madison (2.1) percent), Blount (2.4) percent, Tuscaloosa (2.6) and Cleburne (2.7 percent). Counties with the highest jobless rates were: Bullock (14.3 percent), Washington (12.9), Winston (12.7 percent), Perry (12.4 percent), and Clarke (11.5 percent).

"Butler County placed as the eleventh highest in the state, at 9.8 percent," said Macksoud.