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Jobless rate inches downward

Butler County’s jobless rate fell slightly, from 13.7 percent in February to 13.2 percent in March, according to preliminary data released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The drop is due to 42 people in Butler County finding jobs between February and March. The number of unemployed persons dropped from 1,250 to 1,242 in that same time period.

But, overall, Butler County’s labor force has risen since 2008. Butler County had a civilian labor force of 8,825 in March 2008. That number has climbed to 9,118 in March 2009.

As a state, Alabama’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in the Southeast, but not by much. The state’s jobless rate was reported as nine percent by the ADIR. Neighboring Georgia’s was 9.2, while Mississippi’s was 9.4.

ADIR Director Tom Surtees encouraged those persons looking for a job to take advantage of local career centers.

“The Alabama Career Centers, which are located all over the state, provide a wealth of services to the unemployed and underemployed,” said Surtees. “I’d like to encourage anyone who may be in need of these services to visit their local Career Center to get some help finding a job, or receive specialized training, or even get their GED. There are so many ways we can help those who have found themselves unemployed.”

The Greenville Career Center is located on 117 W. Commerce St.