• 64°

County’s jobless rate rises to 13.2 percent

The bad news gets worse for Butler County’s unemployment rate which continues to climb, reaching 13.1 percent in January, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. It was 10.2 percent in December.

That number also reflects an increase in state’s jobless rate, which rose to 7.8 percent, up from 6.5 percent in December 2008.

“The important thing to realize right now is that the recession has hit the entire country hard,” said Surtees. “Alabama is fortunate in that our rate is still a good bit lower than the rates of our neighboring states. Thanks to the increase in economic development over the past six years, Alabama has so far been able to weather the recession a little better than others.”

Wilcox County’s 19.5 percent jobless rate was highest among counties surrounding Butler County, and the highest in the state. Covington County had the lowest in the area at 8 percent.

Other surrounding counties and related unemployment figures: Conecuh (14.7), Crenshaw (8.3), Monroe (14.8), and Lowndes (17).