County unemployment rate holds steady

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Franklin County's unemployment rate changed very little over the past month.
Numbers released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations on Friday showed a slight decrease in the number of unemployed county residents. September's rate moved to 12.3 percent, which was a slight change from August's rate of 12.5 percent.
The number of unemployed Franklin County residents dropped from 1,612 to 1,563 over the course of the month.
Franklin County's decline in unemployed residents was against the state trend for the month.
Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Friday that Alabama's September unemployment rate rose to 10.7 percent, up from the revised rate of 10.3 percent in August. The rate represents 223,165 unemployed persons.
"While we are certainly disappointed that our unemployment rate has continued to rise, we realize that we are not alone in this situation," said Surtees. "The entire country is experiencing increases in unemployment rates due to the effects of this worldwide recession. However, this month we did see initial claims drop to their lowest level this year. That indicates that fewer people are filing for new unemployment compensation benefits."
There were 28,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits in September, compared to the year's high of 61,000 in January.
Wage and salary employment for the month of September registered losses in the sectors of leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, and financial activities. Gains were registered in the sectors of government, educational and health services, construction, and professional and business services.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Madison at 7.5 percent, Shelby at 7.6 percent and Coffee at 8.5 percent.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 25.6 percent, Dallas at 21.1 percent and Perry at 19.8 percent.

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