• 73°

Unemployment rises

Unemployment has risen in the past month, but the future is bright.

According to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relation, Dallas County unemployment rose by .6 percent in the past month, but Wayne Vardaman, executive director of Economic Development Authority of Dallas County said not to worry.

Vardaman said the 1.7 percent decrease from June 2009 is more important.

“I don’t really look at the numbers from month to month,” said Vardaman. “You are going to get ups and downs. But if we look at how we were doing this time last year, then we can see some positives.”

Vardaman said there typically is an increase during the summer because more people enter the workforce than are normally counted.

ADIR Public Information Officer Tara Hutchison agreed.

“You normally see seasonal increases,” said Hutchison. “Normally during the summer you have people like high school and college students entering the unemployment force, and that can raise the numbers.”

Vardaman said the recent factory wide vacation time of companies like Hanil E-Hwa could also contribute to the rise from May to June.

“If a company shuts down then those people who haven’t worked long enough to have vacation days could file for unemployment,” said Vardaman. “Other situations like schools layoffs of cafeteria workers for the summer can also change the numbers.”

Ahmad Ijaz, an economist with the Center for Business and Economic Research at The University of Alabama said the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, meaning it lags the economic growth or contraction, so as the economy begins to improve, workers who were discouraged about their job prospects or had given up on their job search enter the job market again, which pushes the unemployment rate up.

Vardaman said he is encouraged by the dip in unemployment from last June.

“It means we are making improvements,” said Vardaman. “Since that time we have lost jobs from Bush Hog and Dixie Pellets, but that means we have been finding other places for those people to work such as Renosol Seating and Hanil E-Hwa. With my job you are never completely satisfied, but I’m glad when we see growth like this.”