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Butler County unemployment trends with rest of state, rises in October

Like the remainder of the state, Butler County’s preliminary October unemployment rate is up from September’s revised rate.

Despite the small hike, Butler County’s unemployment rate remains lower in 2016 than the same time last year.

According to Alabama Department of Labor numbers released Friday, Nov. 18, Butler County has a preliminary October unemployment rate of 7.0 percent, which is half a percentage point higher than September’s revised rate of 6.5 percent but a tenth of a percentage point lower than an October 2015 rate of 7.1 percent.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced last Friday that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 5.7 percent is up from September’s rate of 5.4 percent, and well below October 2015’s rate of 6.1 percent. Also that October’s rate represents 123,892 unemployed persons, compared to 117,100 in September and 131,421 in October 2015.

“An extremely large increase in the number of people who are looking for work combined with an increase in the number of people working in October led to an increase in our unemployment rate,” Washington said. “More than 16,000 people entered the workforce in October, and nearly 10,000 more people found work. Compared to last year, nearly 40,000 more people are in the work force and almost 50,000 more people are working. This shows a marked increase in the confidence level of jobseekers.”

The number of people in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased in October to 2,182,384, representing an increase of 16,755 over the month. Over the year, the CLF increased by 39,805.

The number of people who were counted as employed increased 9,963 over the month. Over the year, the number of people counted as employed increased 47,334.

“Our other measure of employment, the establishment survey, is also at its highest point of the year,” continued Washington. “This survey tells us that Alabama’s employers have more people on the payroll than they have at any time since September 2008.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Lee County at 5.1 percent, and Cullman, Elmore and Madison County at 5.2 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 13.8 percent, Clarke County at 10.9 percent, Lowndes County at 10.4 percent, Perry and Greene at 10.1 percent and Dallas at 9.2 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 4 percent, Homewood at 4.1 percent and Hoover at 4.4 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 10.3 percent, Bessemer at 10.2 percent and Prichard at 9.5 percent.