State jobless rate down, county’s up

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January 2016 unemployment rate is 6.2 percent, Gov. Robert Bentley announced Monday.

Covington County’s unemployment rate increased from 6.6 percent in December to 7.7 percent in January, against the statewide trend.

“We remain committed to lowering Alabama’s unemployment rate, but we are even more committed to making sure that every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “We are making significant progress towards that goal. This month’s jobs numbers are showing some of the best growth we have seen in years, and we are encouraged by the momentum. We will not stop in our mission to bring quality jobs to Alabama, and help our existing businesses become even more successful.”

“January’s rate contains some interesting and positive data,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “There is almost no change in the rate, mainly due to the fact that there were more people in the labor force and more people were employed. These are both good signs, because it means that people are continuing to display confidence in the economy and that they are able to find work. In fact, the number of people counted as employed in January is higher than it has been since October 2008.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are ShelbyCounty at 4.5 percent, Elmore County and Lee County at 5.3 percent, and Autauga County and St. Clair County at 5.4 percent.

Counties with the highest rates are Wilcox County at 16.0 percent, followed by Clarke, 12.4 percent; Lowndes, 12.0 percent; Greene, 10.8 percent; Monroe, 10.3 percent; and Perry, 10.1 percent.