Lowndes unemployment continues to rank second highest in state

Published 11:50 am Friday, December 18, 2015

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
While economic development efforts are underway to improve employment numbers in Lowndes County, November 2015 preliminary unemployment numbers released by the Alabama Department of Labor Friday show Lowndes ranks second highest in unemployment in the state for a third straight month.
In September 2015 Lowndes tied Clarke for second highest unemployment in the state and was alone as second highest in October and November 2015. Previously the county was third highest in the state in unemployment in July and August 2015.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor’s preliminary November 2015 numbers, Wilcox County had the highest unemployment at 13.5 percent, Lowndes had 10.6 percent, Clarke had 10.5, Greene had 10.1 percent and Monroe had 9.5 percent.
The November preliminary rate for Lowndes is a .4 percent improvement over the revised October 2015 rate and 1.4 percent improvement over the revised November 2014 rate.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates include Shelby County at 4 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and Elmore, Cullman and St. Clair Counties at 4.8 percent.
David Hutchison, executive director of the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission (LCEDC) and Tucson Roberts, a consultant for the South Central Alabama Development Commission (SCADC), appeared before the Lowndes County Commission recently to report on the success of a Ready To Work Program in the county. And the County Commission approved funding for a second RTW course.
Hutchison requested $2,500 from the county for the next session of the program in January, which he said would be matched by the LCEDC and other funds from the SCADC.
Hutchison said the names of the seven people who recently graduated the Lowndes County RTW course were submitted to Daehan, Chowel, Priester’s and the Alabama Career Center.
Roberts said, “What we’re trying to do now is make sure that they all get jobs.” He said, “If we can do this for five or six times and get seven to 14 people every time for a year, we can make a difference in the employees in the county… bring some income into the county and get people trained here to get some of these people good jobs.”

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