Jobless rate rises statewide

Published 3:05 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

Butler County’s unemployment rate spiked in June, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

Butler County’s June jobless rate was 7.8 percent, up from 6.7 percent in May.

An increase in unemployment was a trend statewide. All 67 counties saw their unemployment rate rise.

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Neighboring Wilcox County saw its unemployment rate jump from 13.5 percent in May to 15.1 percent in June — the highest total in the state.

Lowndes County also saw an increase from 10.7 percent to 11.7 percent and Crenshaw County saw its rate climb to 6.5 percent from 5.7 percent.

In June, all 67 counties saw a slight decrease in their unemployment rates.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted rate remained steady at 6 percent.

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 was 6.5 percent, up from 5.7 percent in May.

June’s rate represents 130,349 unemployed persons, compared to 132,019 in May and 130,604 in June 2015.

“Our unemployment rate continues to hold steady,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama Department of Labor Secretary.  “Even though there was no change in the rate over the month, nearly 34,000 more people are working now than last year, and fewer people are unemployed both over the month and over the year, and those numbers are important to most Alabamians.”

The number of people counted as employed in June was 2,045,497, up from 2,011,654 in June 2015 (seasonally adjusted).

“Employers in Alabama are also reporting that they are supporting more jobs,” continued Washington.  “There are almost 15,000 more jobs this year than there were last year, and we haven’t seen levels of wage and salary employment this high in nearly eight years.  Our employers are hiring and putting Alabamians to work.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.8 percent, Elmore County at 5.3 percent and Cherokee County at 5.4 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox, Perry County at 13.5 percent and Clarke County at 12.5 percent.