August unemployment dips slightly in Butler County

Published 5:38 pm Friday, September 23, 2016

Butler County’s unemployment rate dropped three tenths of a percentage point from July to August, according to figures released on Sept. 20 by the Alabama Department of Labor.

Butler County’s unemployment rate for August was 6.6 percent, down from 6.9 percent in July.

The county’s jobless rate shows a marked improvement from the same time last year, down by 1.5 percent from August 2015’s 8.1 percent unemployment rate.

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Butler County’s statistics are in line with the rest of the state, as Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate is 5.4 percent overall, down from July’s rate of 5.7 percent and even further below August 2015’s rate of 6.1 percent.

“Lowering the unemployment rate and putting Alabamians back to work have been the major goals of my administration, and I’m proud to say that this month our

unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since I took office,” said Governor Bentley.

“These last two months have been great for Alabama! Our unemployment rate has

dropped six tenths of a percent since June.”

“We’ve had a good jobs week in Alabama,” Bentley continued. “There was a huge job

fair in the Wiregrass region of the state, with record attendance. We also announced

more than 100 jobs in Houston County. And in addition to marking the lowest

unemployment rate of my administration, we can also say that we have the least number of unemployed Alabamians in more than eight years.”

Lowndes County’s unemployment rate remained steady at 10.4 percent in August, identical to its rate from last month.

Also, just as in July, Lowndes County’s rate remains the fourth-highest in the state, though it is a 2.2 percent improvement over the county’s results this time last year.

Crenshaw County’s unemployment ticked upward slightly from July’s rate of 5.7 percent to 5.9 percent in August.

Despite the small hike, Crenshaw County’s jobless rate remains an improvement over August 2015’s rate of 6.4 percent.

August’s rate represents 116,361 unemployed persons, compared to 123,034 in July and 129,780 in August 2015. The last time the number of unemployed persons was at or below 116,361 was May 2008, when the number measured 113,343.

“Not only did we see the unemployment rate drop, but we also saw the number of jobs our economy supports increase,” said Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Our total wage and salary employment is reaching levels that we haven’t seen in nearly eight years.

Manufacturing employment is at its second highest level since 2009. These numbers show us that employers have jobs and are hiring Alabamians.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 15,600, with gains in the manufacturing sector (+4,900), the education and health services sector (+4,200), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+3,400), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in August by 8,000. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+3,400), the education and health services sector (+2,900), the government sector (+2,900), and the manufacturing sector (+1,700), among others.

“The continued improvement reaches to the county level as well,” continued Washington.

“Over the year, 66 of 67 counties experienced a drop in their unemployment rates, some counties by more than two percentage points.”

Over the year, only Perry County experienced an increase in its unemployment rate, rising from 10.5% to 10.9%.