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County’s jobless rate climbs

Butler County had an 8.1 percent unemployment rate in June, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

That’s up from 7.3 percent in May.

Butler County wasn’t alone in seeing its jobless rate climb last month. All 67 counties saw their jobless rates rise from May to June. However, all 67 counties still have a lower unemployment rate than a year ago.

“The June unemployment rate continues to reflect what we saw last month,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.  “It is not uncommon to see unemployment rise or remain steady during the summer months, usually as a result of an increase in the labor force as students and graduates search for work, and teachers and other school employees are not employed.”

Alabama’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, which is unchanged from May.

Seasonal adjustment refers to the practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force.

Alabama’s non-adjusted jobless rate is 6.7 percent.

“Even though our unemployment rate remained unchanged this month, we are pleased that since January 2011, our month over month growth in wage and salary employment, a trend that began in January 2011, continues,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Today, there are almost 75,000 more jobs in Alabama than there were in June 2011. This is good news for Alabamians who are looking to find a job.”

During the last year, wage and salary employment increased by 23,600 to 1,952,800, with gains in the education and health services sector (+6,800), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,900), and the construction sector (+4,000), among others. In June 2011, wage and salary employment was 1,878,200.

Wage and salary employment decreased in June by 1,900.  Monthly gains were seen in the construction sector (+2,300), the leisure and hospitality sector (+1,600), and the manufacturing sector (+800), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Elmore County at 5.4 percent and Baldwin County at 5.5 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rate are Wilcox County at 16.1 percent, Clarke County at 13.7 percent, Lowndes County at 12.7 percent and Greene County and Perry County at 11.5 percent.