Unemployment numbers discouraging’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

BNI News Service

REGION &045; Preliminary unemployment numbers for June released recently by the State Department of Industrial Relations showed discouraging numbers for Black Belt counties and the state of Alabama.

Unemployment numbers in each of the area Black Belt counties showed at least a small increase with Hale County still holding the lowest percentage of unemployed persons. Hale showed a 5.5 percent unemployment rate, which faired well with other Black Belt counties. Unfortunately, these numbers were up from May’s 4.0 percent. Last years numbers were at 7.6 percent at the same time. Hale had a civilian work force of 7,258 for June with 6,856 holding jobs.

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Greene showed the second lowest unemployment figures with 5.8 percent unemployment. Greene’s numbers were also an increase from May’s 4.9 percent, however it was a huge decrease from June of 2004’s 9.1 percent. Greene showed an available civilian workforce of 3,611 with 3,402 holding jobs.

Marengo County fell in the middle of the Black Belt’s numbers. Marengo showed a 6.2 percent unemployment level which was up from May’s 4,9 percent. The numbers were right on target from June of 2004’s 6.2 percent. Marengo County showed a civilian work force of 8,993 with 8,431 holding jobs.

Sumter County showed the smallest jump in numbers as they reported an 8.7 percent unemployment level up only two tenths of a percent from May’s 8.5. Last June’s numbers for Sumter County reflected a 10.6 percent unemployment level. Sumter had an available work force of 4,870 with 4,448 holding jobs.

Perry County again held the largest unemployment percentage with 10.1 percent unemployment. These numbers were a large jump from May’s 7.2 percent. They were also very close to last June’s 10.2 percent. Perry showed an available civilian workforce of 3,655 with 3,285 holding jobs.

The state unemployment level was again unchanged at 4.4 percent. Their numbers were also better than June of 2004, which saw the state as a whole at 5.5 percent. Alabama showed an available work force of 2,131,691 with 2,036,939 holding jobs.