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County’s jobless rate steady in December

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced today that Alabama’s unemployment rate for December 2009 rose to 11 percent.

This is an increase from November’s rate of 10.5 percent.

Butler County’s jobless rate in December, according to the date, was 16 percent. The jobless rate in November was 16.3 percent.

December’s rate represents 225,596 unemployed persons. Wage and salary employment declined by 9,300 with losses occurring in the following sectors: professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, construction, educational and health services, government, financial activities, and manufacturing. Gains occurred in the following sectors: trade, transportation and utilities, other services, natural resources and mining, and information.

“Although we became a little hopeful due to last month’s unemployment decrease, I think we all realize the reality of the economic situation in this country,” said Surtees. “We are continuing to see Alabamians suffer from the recession and remain committed to serving them. During 2009, we distributed benefits exceeding $1.2 billion and will continue to assist the unemployed with all of the state and federal resources at our disposal.”

In counties surrounding Butler, Wilcox County had 24.5 percent unemployment, followed by Monroe (20.2), Dallas (20.1), Conecuh (19.9), Lowndes (15.6), Covington (10.8), and Crenshaw (9.9).