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Unemployment continues to drop in county

CHAMBERS — The unemployment rate in Chambers County maintained its downward movement in the month of August.

According to a report from the Alabama Department of Labor, Chambers County saw unemployment drop from 713 people in July, or 4.6 percent, to 640 people in August, or 4.2 percent, which matches the unemployment percentage of August 2017.

In relation, the county’s civil labor force also saw a slight drop, from 15,366 people in July to 15,332 in August, a difference of 34 people. A year ago, the number of available people to work was at 15,090, meaning the county has gained a net of 242 additional workers in the last year.

Employment was also higher in August, with Chambers seeing an increase from 14,653 people to 14,692, comparable to the 14,463 people working in August of last year.

Twenty-one other counties had unemployment rates lower than Chambers County, including nearby Lee County at 3.9 percent. Three other counties tied with Chambers with a 4.2 percent unemployment rate; Clay, Fayette and Marion counties.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rate include Shelby County at 3.1 percent, Cullman County at 3.4 percent and Marshall County at 3.5 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rate include Wilcox County at 10.1 percent, Clarke County at 8.1 percent and Lowndes County at 7.9 percent.

Statewide, Alabama’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, stayed at 4.1 percent. It has remained there since June.

The actual number of unemployed people in the state now sits at 91,211, a slight increase from 90,928 in July. In 2017, that number was even lower at 86,383.

Offsetting this, employment rose from 2,105,577 people in July to 2,112,274 in August. The civilian labor force also grew from 2,196,505 in July to 2,203,485.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that with more than 2.1 million people working in Alabama, this broke the previous employment record for the fourth consecutive month.

“For four months in a row now, we’ve been breaking employment records,” Washington said. “Thirty-two thousand more Alabamians are working now than last year. We’ve also seen our labor force grow by 37,000, meaning more people have confidence in the economy and their ability to find a job – and the majority of those have found work, which is great news.”

Washington continued, “Our job count continues to remain well above two million. The sectors that are experiencing the most yearly growth are sectors with traditionally high wages, like professional and business services, manufacturing, and construction. In fact, professional and business services employment, which includes high paying occupations like Financial Managers, Software Developers, and Engineers, is at a record high.”