Seeking single digits: more jobs coming

Published 1:43 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Butler County’s unemployment rate held steady the month of December, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Friday.

Unemployment in Butler County the last month of 2010 was 11.4 percent, the same as November. The actual number of unemployed dropped from 1,019 to 1,012, not enough to effect the jobless rate.

It’s still a significant decrease from December 2009 when the county unemployment was 15.8 percent.

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Butler County could drop below double digits sometime this year. Over 100 new jobs are scheduled to come on-line April of this year at Hwashin America Co., which already employs 340 people. Additionally, Hysco America is expected to announce expansion plans on Monday. Both companies are suppliers to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Hope Hull.

The last time Butler County had single-digit unemployment was November 2008 (9.3 percent), according to the Department of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate remained steady as well, increasing slightly from 9 percent to 9.1 percent.

“Although we did see a small increase in our unemployment rate, we still remain below the national rate, and Alabama did see a net increase in jobs over the past twelve months,” said Tom Surtees, ADIR Director. “The road coming out of this recession will be a bumpy one, and we have to be prepared to handle the bumps as they come along.”

Among surrounding counties, Wilcox had the highest at 20 percent, which was also the highest statewide. Monroe had 16 percent unemployment, followed by Conecuh (14.7 percent), Lowndes (14.2 percent), Crenshaw (8.9 percent), and Covington (8.4 percent).

Shelby (6.7 percent), Coffee (6.9 percent), and Madison (7 percent) counties had the lowest in the state.

Unemployment across the state for December 2010, according to the ADIR.