Evacuees shouldn#039;t affect

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

jobless rate

By Kevin Pearcey

Crenshaw County's unemployment rate jumped slightly for the month of August but Janice Grayson, manager of the county's state employment service, said it isn't because of an influx of Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

"I don't think it should because most of the people here are from another state and they'd be counted as part of their state's civilian labor force," she said. "We've had a few come in and file unemployment, but no large groups."

Crenshaw County's unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent versus a July number of 4.9 percent.

The information is tracked monthly by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

"It's not fluctuating that much," she said. "It's about where it should be. Obviously, we would see it change if a company started dropping a large number of employees, but that hasn't been the case."

Crenshaw County is currently ranked No. 23 in the state as counties with the highest unemployment rates.

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped almost two full points from August 2004, falling to 3.8 percent from 5.6 percent a year ago.

July's rate was 4 percent.

"Alabama's economy continues to grow and create new jobs. We have, without a doubt, one of the strongest state economies in the nation today," said Gov. Bob Riley.

In surrounding counties, Lowndes County's unemployment dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent. Butler County's jobless rate was 9.4 percent last August, when the county was ranked No. 7 among counties with the highest unemployment. The county is currently ranked No. 12, despite a drop of almost three and a half percentage points from 2004, but the small gain is due largely because of Alabama's overall decrease in unemployment across the state.

Covington County, at 4.1 percent, possessed the lowest unemployment rate in counties surrounding Butler County. Wilcox County had the highest at 9.7 percent.

The unemployment rate in Wilcox County was 12 percent a year ago.

The national jobless rate is 4.9 percent.