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Jobless rate climbs again

Butler County’s jobless rate climbed higher to 13.7 percent in February according to preliminary data released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations on Friday.

The county’s unemployment was 13 percent in January.

According to the ADIR, Butler County had the thirteenth highest unemployment in the state. Wilcox County had the highest at 21.5 percent, followed by Chambers (18.9), Dallas (18.5), Lowndes (17.4), and Perry (17) counties.

1,250 people were unemployed in February in Butler County, up from 596 unemployed in February 2008.

Among southeastern states, Alabama had the lowest unemployment in February at 8.4 percent.

“I know that to someone who is unemployed the fact that our unemployment rate is lower than those of our neighboring states may not mean much,” said Tom Surtees, ADIR Director. “However, the fact that our rate does continue to stay below the rates of other states in our region reflects the tremendous impact economic development has had in our state over the past several years. Without the significant number of businesses and industries Alabama has successfully recruited, we would undoubtedly be in much worse shape than we are.”