Unemployment rates drop for all 67 counties, Butler down to 7.5 percent

Published 2:51 pm Friday, October 16, 2015

Butler County’s unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August to 7.5 percent in September, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

Butler County’s unemployment rate in September of 2014 was 7.7 percent.

Statewide the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.2 percent to 6 percent.

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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.

The unadjusted rate for September was 5.9 percent, down from 6.5 percent in July.

“We are extremely pleased to see a decrease in our unemployment rate this month,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.

Butler County’s neighbors, Crenshaw and Lowndes Counties, also saw their jobless rates fall. Crenshaw posted a rate of 5.6 percent in September, down from 6.5 percent, while Lowndes saw its rate drop from 12.5 percent to 11.7 percent.

“Every county in Alabama experienced a decrease in their unemployment rates this month,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.  “We have not seen this many jobs in September since 2008.”

Bentley said the numbers show that the state’s economy is now able to support more jobs.

“We are seeing steady improvement, especially in our wage and salary employment,” Bentley said. “… Just this week, we have announced 470 future jobs for two Alabama communities. Our efforts will continue until Alabama reaches full employment.”

Wage and salary employment in September measured 1,958,800, which is the highest figure in 2015.  The last time wage and salary employment was 1,958,800 or higher in September was 2008, when it totaled 1,992,200.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.1 percent, Lee County at 4.8 percent and Elmore and Cullman Counties at 5 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 15.1 percent and Clarke County and Lowndes County at 11.7 percent.