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August unemployment up slightly in Crenshaw County

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

Crenshaw County’s unemployment rate for August was 5.9 percent, up from 5.7 percent in July.

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

Crenshaw 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.”

Butler County’s unemployment rate decreased by three tenths of a percentage at 6.6 percent in August, coming down from 6.9 in July.

Pike County’s unemployment remained the same from July to August at 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%.