Lowndes County sees unemployment numbers dropping in 2014

Published 6:53 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
According to consecutive 2014 reports from the Alabama Department of Labor, Lowndes County unemployment numbers continue to show monthly improvement.
In February of this year, Lowndes County had a 12.6 percent unemployment rate, which ranked it as fourth highest in the state in unemployment behind Wilcox, Perry and Dallas County.
Figures released for March, showed Lowndes County improved .5 percent from a revised rate of 12.5 percent in February to a preliminary 12.0 percent for March.
And, according to the latest Alabama Department of Labor numbers, Lowndes County improved 1.0 percent from a revised rate of 11.8 percent in March to a preliminary10.8 percent in April.
And based on those same preliminary numbers, Lowndes County’s unemployment is now sixth highest in the state as opposed to fourth.
Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced on May 16th that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, up from March’s rate of 6.7 percent, and above April 2013’s rate of 6.5 percent.
“Seasonal adjustment certainly played a role in this month’s unemployment rate increase,” Surtees said. “The state data did not meet seasonal expectations, while at the same time, only one of
Alabama’s 67 counties showed an increase in their rate this month.”
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, only Greene County registered an increase in their unemployment rate, while all other counties saw declines ranging from .4 percent (Winston County) to 1.2 percent (Perry County).
Surtees said, “The state data are seasonally adjusted while the county data are not. However, this is an estimate and will probably be revised as the seasonal factors become more quantifiable as the year goes on.”
When asked about improvements in Lowndes County’s unemployment back in April, Cleve Poole, secretary for the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission (LCEDC said. “We’re working with the schools. We’ve got the career center open and that might be helping a little bit.”
And Thomas Ellis, chairman of the LCEDC, said that he was pleased that the LCEDC “is able work with the school system and (School Superintendent) Dr. (Daniel) Boyd in particular to support workforce development programs and put on programs in the schools for the young people.”
At the May 15th Lowndes County Board of Education meeting, Lowndes County BOE Jobs Coach Reginald Crawford said 26 Lowndes County Public Schools children were working in and around Lowndes County.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates according to the Alabama Department of Labor are: Wilcox
County at 15.5 percent, Greene County at 12.7 percent, and Perry County at 11.9 percent.

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