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County’s jobless rate drops slightly

A slight improvement in the county’s unemployment rate is a glimmer of hope on the economic horizon, says Ricky McLaney, director of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development.

Latest figures show the county’s unemployment rate in April was at 13 percent, compared to 13.2 percent the preceding month.

“This is a small improvement and it is a promising development,” McLaney said.

“We have been getting more inquiries in our office in the last month or so, so more people are looking at coming to this area.”

McLaney expressed hope that some of the new “green energy” projects now getting support from Washington are a possible good fit for the area.

“That’s the wave of the future, and it’s giving us a whole new arena of prospects,” he said.

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at nine percent for the same time period. This is the first time the rate has not increased in 18 months. Tom Surtees of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations said the steady unemployment rate may indicate some relief from the recession is on the way.

“We are starting to see increases in some job sectors and decreases in the number of jobs being lost throughout the month. Hopefully, these trends will continue.”