collective

County, state unemployment rates rise

Published 5:41pm Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Elmore County’s jobless rate increased significantly from December 2013 to January 2014, rising from 5.4 percent to 6.4 percent. That jump translates to 357 more people out of work in the county – 2,246 in January compared to 1,889 in December. Those rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The statewide unemployment rate (also not seasonally adjusted) rose from 5.7 percent in December to 6.8 percent in January, representing 130,444 people on the jobless rolls.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1 percent for both December and January. Seasonally adjusted rates are not available for counties. Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees released the data ­Monday.

“Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers, we saw growth in both the labor force and the number of people working in Alabama in January, and those are positive signs,” he said. “Additionally, the number of job orders we received on JobLink have, once again, set a record for the highest number of job orders in the history of the site. Although the number of jobs reported decreased, this is a common occurrence in January, and is due, in large part, to retailers laying off seasonal help.”

Elmore County ranked as 13th lowest in Alabama at 6.4 percent. January rates for counties adjacent to Elmore were Autauga, 5.9; Chilton, 6.2; Montgomery, 7.2; Tallapoosa, 8.5; Coosa, 8.8 percent; and Macon, 8.8.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, 4.6 percent; Lee, 5.5; and Cullman and Limestone, both at 5.8. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox, 16.4; Perry, 13.2 percent; and Bullock, 12.7.

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