County’s jobless rate drops

Published 3:04 pm Friday, April 18, 2014

Butler County’s unemployment rate dipped to 8.9 percent in March, according to the latest figures released by the Alabama Department of Labor on Friday.

Butler County’s jobless rate in February was 9.6 percent.

The State of Alabama saw a rise in its unemployment rate.

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It rose to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent in February. The rate represents 144,628 unemployed people.

“The unemployment rate increased this month because we saw the labor force grow by more than 14,000, and we saw the number of working Alabamians increase by nearly 7,000,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees. “These employment numbers are the highest they’ve been in at least nine months, which indicates increased confidence in the job market and that people are getting back to work.”

According to figures released by the Alabama Department of Labor, the state’s labor force increased to 2,148,148 in March from 2,133,948 in February. The number of employed people increased from 2,003,520 in March from 1,996,716 in February.

The last time the number of people in the state’s labor force was above the March total was in April of 2013, according to Surtees.

“Additionally, employers reported more than 12,000 more jobs this month, and the construction industry showed a gain for the first time in months,” Surtees said. “This data, along with the nearly 20,000 jobs we are consistently reporting on JobLink, the state’s free online jobs database, tells us that employers are hiring in Alabama.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.8 percent, Lee County at 5.7 percent, and Cullman and Cherokee Counties at 5.9 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 16.4 percent, Perry County at 13.2 percent and Dallas County at 12.5 percent.