County jobless rate falls to 9.3 percent in September

Published 9:53 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

By Blake Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal

Dallas County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from August to September while the state rate stayed the same.

The state rate held steady at 5.4 percent, and the county’s rate fell from 9.5 percent in August to 9.3 percent in September.

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“Our unemployment rate held steady this month, remaining at its lowest point during my administration, which also happens to be its lowest point in more than eight years,” said Gov. Robert Bentley.

Dallas County has the sixth highest unemployment rate in the state. Wilcox, Lowndes and Perry counties, which surround Dallas, are in the top five with Wilcox being the highest at 13.4 percent.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, 14,254 people are employed in Dallas County, while 1,467 people are not.

The number of employed people is up from last year at this time from 14,004, and the number of people unemployed is down from last year’s 1,508.

“We are continuing to see record low numbers of people who are unemployed, with September’s count marking the second lowest number of unemployed since 2008,” Bentley said. “We are continuing our efforts to ensure that ever Alabamian who wants a job has one, and these numbers show we are having success in that endeavor.”

The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent or below was in May 2008 when it was at 5.2 percent.

Across the state, there are 117,125 people that are unemployed. Dallas County’s 1,467 make up 1.25 percent of people unemployed in the state.

The number of unemployed is up from August’s 116,296.

According to the department, one reason why the unemployment rate is getting lower is because of the growth of manufacturing in Alabama, which is at an eight-year high.

“Another highlight from this month’s jobs numbers is the fact that our manufacturing employment is nearing pre-recession levels,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.

Data shows 263,000 people employed in manufacturing jobs in September.

The national unemployment rate for September is 5 percent, which is down from 5.1 percent at this time last year.

Shelby (4.2 percent), Lee, Elmore, Cullman and Cherokee counties have the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

The highest unemployment rates were in Wilcox (13.4 percent), Clarke and Lowndes counties.