Chambers unemployment decreases

Published 1:58 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

CHAMBERS — Chambers County has seen a small decrease in unemployment, which is in line with the rest of the state.

The Alabama Department of Labor reported Chambers County’s December unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, compared to 3.4 percent in November and 5.2 percent in December 2016.

The county’s civilian labor force also increased by one person, 15,531, from November’s 15,530, which is much higher than 2016’s 15,272.

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Fourteen counties had lower unemployment rates than Chambers. Two others, Bibb and Jefferson, had equal rates in December.

Neighboring counties had mixed situations. Lee County had an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent, lower than December’s 3.1 percent. Tallapoosa and Randolph counties were both higher than Chamber’s at 3.3 and 3.4 percent, respectively. Both percentages are lower than November 2016.

Statewide, Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent from November’s 3.6 percent, although seasonally adjusted unemployment actually stayed the same from November to December at 3.5 percent.

The state labor force, seasonally adjusted, rose from 2,163,284 in November to 2,168,761 in December.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.5 percent, Cullman County at 2.8 percent, and Marshall, Madison and Lee Counties at 2.9 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.5 percent, Clarke County at 6.7 percent and Lowndes County at 6.5 percent.

In a statement released Friday, Governor Kay Ivey said, “We are ending 2017 with great news on the employment front. Not only have we reached a record low unemployment rate, but now we can add another record to our list – more people are working in Alabama than ever before! We’ve been busy recruiting new business to our state, like our recent announcement of Toyota-Mazda’s decision to locate in North Alabama, bringing 4,000 jobs and more than 300 jobs in Troy due to Kimber’s recent announcement.”

“In early 2017, economists predicted that Alabama’s economy would gain 18,700 jobs over the year,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor. “I’m happy to say that we surpassed that prediction by more than 13,000 jobs, gaining a total of 32,500 jobs. Employers are hiring in Alabama, and we stand ready to provide whatever assistance is needed to make sure that they are able to fill their open positions.”

Georgia’s unemployment numbers for December have not been put out at the time of publication and will be reported on when released.