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Butler County unemployment falls .9 percent

Unemployment in Butler County fell from 14.5 percent to 13.6 in April according to the latest figures from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The numbers showed a increase of 108 jobs, while unemployment dropped by 75 persons.

Ricky McLaney, with the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, said these figures are encouraging, but may not be entirely accurate because of how they are reported.

“We still don’t have a true handle on how many Coastal Forest Products has employed,” McLaney said.

McLaney explained that a lag in the system might mean that all newly employed persons do not show up immediately, which would affect the employment percentages.

McLaney, has seen the economy slide from 4.3 percent unemployment in 2007 to where it is today. He estimates that the real figure is closer to 12 percent rather than the official 13.6.

“I think we are in good shape,” McLaney said. “All we can do is hope that we put job opportunities out there and that our companies continue to prosper.”

McLaney cited a recent job ad placed by HYSCO as a sign of an improving job climate. The ad, which has appeared in the Greenville Advocate classifieds, advertises immediate openings for machine, forklift and crane operators, to name a few, for both first and second shifts.

Also, McLaney said he expects Coastal Forest’s new sawmill will require around 50 new hires.