County unemployment rate ticks up

Published 9:32 pm Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dallas County’s jobless rate rose slightly from October to November but is still below last year’s numbers.

The county’s unemployment rate is now at 8.8 percent, up from 8.6 percent in October but less than 10.2 percent rate from November 2014.

Statewide, the jobless rate jumped to from 5.9 percent to 6 percent, according to numbers released Friday by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office.

“We are coming closer and closer to hitting that golden wage and salary employment number of two million jobs,” Bentley said. “We are less than 25,000 jobs shy of attaining pre-recession employment levels in Alabama. We haven’t seen wage and salary employment at two million since June 2008, prior to the recession’s effects in our state. Our economy is strong, and my goal is that every Alabamian who wants a job can obtain one.”

The slight increase in unemployment couledbe attributed to more people entering the workforce around the holidays.

“The very slight uptick in November’s unemployment rate is due to the fact that more people entered the workforce, perhaps looking for seasonal employment,” Alabama Labor Department Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “Additionally, more people are employed both over the month and over the year, so this small increase is not necessarily bad news.”

The Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased in November to 2,146,294 from 2,141,221 in October and from 2,130,131 in November 2014.

Wage and salary employment increased in November by 12,800 jobs to 1,975,700. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+9,100), the education and health services sector (+2,800), and the government sector (+1,800), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.0 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent, and Elmore, Cullman, and St. Clair Counties at 4.8 percent. Wilcox County has the highest rate at 13.5 percent.