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Unemployment drops in August

Unemployment rates for the month of August were recently released and showed Franklin County had a decrease in unemployment from July to August.

Franklin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent in August, which was a decrease from July’s rate of 9.3 percent.

That total represents 1,051 local residents who are reported to be unemployed, which is down from 1,196 people the previous month. It’s also 27 less people than it was at the same time last year.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was reported to be on the decline as well.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, down from July’s rate of 7.0 percent. August’s rate represents 147,346 unemployed persons, compared to 148,652 in July.

“August’s unemployment rate drop is good news for Alabama,” Bentley said.

“We’ve seen more jobs come online, and those jobs are being filled by people who want to work. The Alabama workforce is strong, and our commitment to job creation is just as strong. Our job recruitment efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”

Wage and salary employment rose in August by 9,400. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+4,200), the construction sector (+2,300), and the government sector (+1,800), among others. The number of construction jobs the economy supported this month (83,400) marks the most that particular sector has seen since December 2010 (83,500).

“This month’s unemployment rate reflects what usually happens as the summer winds down,” Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.

“The slight decrease in the labor force reflects people going back to school and no longer searching for work. Additionally, increases in jobs in local government and decreases in jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector further reflect the anticipated trend of people leaving summer employment and returning to school-related jobs.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 19,500, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+6,500), the manufacturing sector (+6,200), and the professional and business services sector (+5,200), among others.

JobLink, the state’s free online jobs database, registered 24,413 active job orders in August. The Help Wanted Online (HWOL) data showed 54,161 total job ads were placed online in Alabama, up 1.58 percent from July. The most advertised careers continue to be: truck drivers, retail supervisors, and registered nurses.

“Additionally, all but two counties saw their unemployment rates decrease in August,” Washington said.

“Dallas, Greene, and Wilcox counties, which are traditionally the counties with some of the highest unemployment rates, all saw their unemployment rates drop by nearly 2 percent – the largest decreases in unemployment rates in the entire state this month.”

Dallas and Greene Counties experienced a decrease in their unemployment rate of 1.8 percent, and Wilcox County’s rate decreased by 1.9 percent.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 5.1 percent, Blount County at 5.7 percent, and Cullman, Lee, and Baldwin Counties at 5.8 percent.

In northwest Alabama, the reported unemployment totals are: Lauderdale County at 7.3 percent, Colbert County at 8.3 percent, Lawrence County at 8.9 percent, Marion County at 9.0 percent and Winston County at 8.9 percent.

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