County’s jobless rate rises slightly

Published 2:40 pm Friday, July 19, 2013

Butler County’s unemployment rose slightly from 9.3 percent in May to 9.7 percent in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

The number of unemployed residents in Butler County jumped from 847 people in May to 888 people in June.

While the rate was higher than May’s rate, it was considerably lower than the 12.1 percent rate the county registered in June of 2012.

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Statewide the unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 percent to 6.5 percent. That figure is well below last year’s June rate of 7.6 percent.

“We’re working hard every day to recruit more jobs for the people of Alabama,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “We’re encouraged to see year-to-year improvements in the factors that comprise our unemployment rate. Since June of 2012, the labor force has increased by more than 10,000, the number of people working is up by nearly 34,000, and the number of people unemployed is down by almost 24,000. This is why our unemployment rate is down by more than one percentage point since then.”

The number of people employed in June of 2013 was 2,029,952, compared to 1,995,962 in June of 2012.

“Although we didn’t see growth over the past month in the labor force or the number employed, it’s not anything to be terribly concerned about,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said. “These summer months always bring an influx of people looking for summer jobs or new graduates looking for full-time jobs. The May to June numbers have been ‘seasonally adjusted’ to allow for those expected increases. Basically, the adjustment removes any spikes when seasonal factors occur and allows us to have a more accurate picture of employment in Alabama.”

While the state’s rate was seasonally adjusted, the rates for counties were not.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Cullman County at 5.6 percent and Limestone and Baldwin Counties at 5.7 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 15.8 percent, Perry County at 14.0 percent and Dallas County at 13.4 percent.