Jobless rate increases in January

Published 6:20 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

The unemployment rate for Dallas County and the state of Alabama increased during the month of January.

Dallas County’s rate went up from 9.1 percent in December to 10.5 percent in January, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

The rate in January 2016 was 9.2 percent.

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Fitzgerald Washington, labor secretary for the state, said the increase was due to more people entering the workforce.

“Our unemployment rate rose because nearly 10,000 more people entered the labor force last month, and about 6,500 of them found work,” Washington said in a release. “The others remain unemployed. When you have an increase in the labor force, and all of those people aren’t able to find work, you will see an uptick in the rate.”

Despite the increase, Fitzgerald said there are more people working now than in the last eight years.

“We continue to surpass our employment numbers each month, and once again, I can say that we currently have more people working in Alabama than there have been in more than eight years,” Washington said.

From December 2016 to January 2017, Dallas County’s number of unemployed people went up from 1,404 to 1,627.

The number of people employed went down from 14,020 to 13,812 during that same time.

Every other county in Alabama faced an increasing unemployment rate from December to January as well, leading to the states increase.

The increase could be attributed to seasonal employment due to the holiday season.

Dallas is one of 22 counties across the state that has an unemployment rate above eight percent.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby at five percent, Elmore at 5.6 percent and Cullman at 5.7 percent.

The counties with the highest are Wilcox at 17.1 percent, Clarke at 12.8 percent and Lowndes at 12.6 percent.