Lowndes one of only two counties not to see a decrease in August unemployment

Published 5:06 pm Friday, September 19, 2014

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Lowndes was one of only two counties in the entire state not to see a decrease in unemployment in August, according to preliminary numbers released Friday, by the Alabama Department of Labor.
Governor Robert Bentley announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, down from July’s rate of 7.0 percent.
He called that “good news for Alabama” and said, “We’ve seen more jobs come online, and those jobs are being filled by people who want to work. The Alabama workforce is strong, and our commitment to job creation is just as strong. Our job recruitment efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”
However, according to the preliminary August numbers, the unemployment rate for Lowndes County remained unchanged from a revised rate of 12.9 percent in July to a preliminary rate of 12.9 percent for August.
Bullock was the only other county in the state that not see a decrease in the unemployment rate, according to the numbers released Friday.
Bullock actually saw an increase in unemployment from 12.6 percent revised July to 13.4 percent preliminary for August.
“This month’s unemployment rate reflects what usually happens as the summer winds down,” Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.
He said, “The slight decrease in the labor force reflects people going back to school and no longer searching for work. Additionally, increases in jobs in local government and decreases in jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector further reflect the anticipated trend of people leaving summer employment and returning to school-related jobs.”
However, according to Washington, “all but two counties saw their unemployment rates decrease in August.”
He said, “Dallas, Greene, and Wilcox Counties, which are traditionally the counties with some of the highest unemployment rates, all saw their unemployment rates drop by nearly 2 percent – the largest decreases in unemployment rates in the entire state this month.”
Dallas and Greene Counties experienced a decrease in their unemployment rate of 1.8 percent, and Wilcox County’s rate decreased by 1.9 percent.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 5.1 percent, Blount County at 5.7 percent, and Cullman, Lee, and Baldwin Counties at 5.8 percent.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates according to the numbers were Wilcox at 16.4 percent, Dallas and Perry at 14.4 percent, Bullock at 13.4 percent and Lowndes at 12.9 percent.

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