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Jobless rate jumps to 16.6 percent

Chapman Forest Products closing is starting to impact Butler County’s unemployment rate. The county’s jobless number in July rose to 16.6 percent, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations on Friday.

That’s a jump of over two percentage points from June when the unemployment rate was 13.9 percent. The total number of people without a job in the county rose from 1,287 to 1,518.

It’s the highest unemployment in Butler County since August 1999 when the jobless rate was 17.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox at

24.9, Dallas at 21.1, and Perry at 20.

County and municipal officials have planned a one-day event entitled “Getting Ready to Work” to offer tips, suggestions and assistance programs to the unemployed and help them find a job. The program will be held at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College-Greenville on Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.