State’s unemployment rate falls, county’s rises

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alabama saw a slight drop in its unemployment rate in October.

According to figures released by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office, the state’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 percent in September to 8.1 percent in October.

That is down from 8.5 percent in October of 2012.

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“These numbers show more Alabamians have jobs, and that’s an encouraging sign we’re headed in the right direction,” Bentley said. “Our efforts to attract more jobs for people across the state will continue. The recent approval of Amendment 2 will help us in our efforts to bring in new companies and encourage existing companies to expand and hire more people.”

The news wasn’t as good for Butler County.

The county’s unemployment rose from 11.4 percent in September to 11.6 percent in October.

That figure is up from the 11.3 percent in October of 2011.

Crenshaw and Lowndes counties also saw an increase in unemployment.

Lowndes’ rate rose from 13.2 percent to 14 percent, while Crenshaw’s rate increased from 7.5 percent to 8 percent.

Despite the increase in unemployment in Butler , Crenshaw and Lowndes counties, Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the state’s labor force grew overall.

“This month, everything worked out the way we wish it would always work out,” Surtees said.  “Our labor force grew, the number of Alabamians working increased, and the number of those unemployed decreased.  We hope to continue seeing these positive signs in the future.”

The figures released by Bentley’s office show that the civilian labor force increased from 2,154,431 in September to 2,160,627 in October.  The number of employed individuals increased from 1,976,799 to 1,985,614 and the number of unemployed individuals decreased from 177,632 to 175,013.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County at 5.4 percent, Coffee County at 6.6 percent, Madison County at 6.6 percent, Lee County at 6.7 percent and St. Clair County at 6.7 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 17.6 percent, Bullock County at 16.2 percent, and Dallas County at 14.8 percent.