County jobless rate drops, state’s rate rises

Published 11:51 am Friday, May 16, 2014

Butler County’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.8 percent in March to 7.9 percent in April, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

According to the report, Butler County now has 700 unemployed citizens, compared to 782 in March.

The news wasn’t as good for the State of Alabama.

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The state’s unemployment rate rose for the third straight month, hitting 6.9 percent.

“Seasonal adjustment certainly played a role in this month’s unemployment increase,” said Tom Surtees, Alabama Department of Labor commissioner. “The state data did not meet seasonal expectations, while at the same time, only one Alabama’s 67 counties showed an increase in their rate this month. The state date are seasonally adjusted, while the county data are not. However, this is an estimate and will probably be revised as the season factors become more quantifiable as the year goes on.”

Last year’s April rate of 6.9 percent was later adjusted down to 6.5 percent.

Crenshaw and Lowndes Counties, which neighbor Butler County, also saw a decrease in their unemployment rates.

Crenshaw’s jobless rate dropped from 6.9 percent to 6.1 percent, while Lowndes saw its rate drop from 11.8 percent to 10.8 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment were Wilcox County at 15.5 percent, Greene County at 12.7 percent and Perry County at 11.9 percent.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County at 4.2 percent, Lee County at 4.9 percent and Cullman County at 5.1 percent.