County’s, state’s unemployment ticks up

Published 3:00 pm Monday, October 19, 2009

Butler County’s unemployment rate for September continued to creep up, rising from 16.5 percent to 16.7 percent, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The county’s unemployment has doubled from a year ago. 750 people were unemployed in Butler County in Sept. 2008 versus 1,481 people in Sept. 2009.

Alabama’s unemployment also ticked upwards, from 10.3 percent to 10.7 percent.

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“While we are certainly disappointed that our unemployment rate has continued to rise, we realize that we are not alone in this situation,” said ADIR Director Tom Surtees. “The entire country is experiencing increases in unemployment rates due to the effects of this worldwide recession. However, this month we did see initial claims drop to their lowest level this year. That indicates that fewer people are filing for new unemployment compensation benefits.”

Butler County’s jobless situation received a big boost in September when Coastal Forest Products, LLC, announced intentions to re-open the Chapman lumber and plywood mill, which had recently closed in June.

The company plans to employ between 265 and 300 people, however most of those jobs won’t impact the county until the mill is reopened in January 2010.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rate were: Madison (7.5), Shelby (7.6), and Coffee (8.5). Counties with the highest unemployment rate were: Wilcox (25.6), Dallas (21.1), and Perry (19.8).

In counties surrounding Butler, Wilcox was the highest with 25.6 percent, followed by Conecuh (19.5), Monroe (18.7), Lowndes (18.5), Covington (10.1), and Crenshaw (9.7).