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County’s unemployment jumps to over 18 percent

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Lowndes County had one of the highest unemployment rates in the state in January.

According to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, the counties with the highest unemployment were Wilcox at 21.7 percent, Lowndes at 18.3 percent and Greene at 17.7 percent.

It reported in November the rate for Lowndes was 14.2 percent. That is a decrease in employment of 4.1 percent over a period of three months.

In November of 2009 the unemployment rate was 15.8 percent.

Lowndes County Commission Chairman Charlie King Jr. said Lowndes County had a gaming industry that employed 200 people and another that would have employed up to 30 people in the construction phase.

He said the job losses from the loss of that industry involved some 200 families who sent children to school and paid their bills.

He said the loss of jobs affects the county in terms of less tax revenues with which to provide services to the people.

Shelby County had the lowest unemployment in the state at a rate of 7.1 percent in January.
Other counties with low employment rates were Coffee at 7.6 percent, Pike at 8.1 percent and Madison at 8.3 percent.

Statewide January’s unemployment rose from 9.1 percent in December of 2010 to 9.3 percent.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations figures, January’s rate represents a decrease in employment statewide of 3,101 from December of 2010.