County’s unemployment rate dips slightly

Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Butler County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from 9.7 percent in July to 9.5 percent in August, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

The number of unemployed residents in Butler County decreased from 890 people in July to 868 people in August.

The rate also marked a 2.5 percent decrease from August of 2012, when Butler County’s unemployment rate was 12 percent.

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Statewide there was a slight increase in the unemployment rate.

Figures from August showed a 6.3 percent unemployment rate, up from 6.2 percent in July.

August’s rate represents 134,367 unemployed people, compared to 134,847 in July.

Although the numbers indicate that fewer people are actively looking for jobs this month, this is somewhat expected at this time of year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees. “It is not uncommon for the labor force to decline in August, as students leave the labor market to go to school, and those in the education field return to work. We are encouraged by the fact that nearly 20,000 more people are working this August than were last August.”

Wage and salary employment, or the measure of the number of jobs in the economy, increased by 3,400 in August, with gains in the professional and business services sector, the educational and health services sector, and the government sector.

“Alabama’s August unemployment rate doesn’t really show much change over the month,” said Surtees. “While we saw a slight increase in jobs, we didn’t really see much change in the number of people who remain unemployed. Getting these people back to work continues to be our top priority.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Lee County at 5.5 percent, and Cullman and Baldwin Counties at 5.6 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 16.0 percent, Dallas County at 14.1 percent, and Perry County at 14.0 percent.