Local unemployment drops in September, rises in October
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Nov 22, 2013 | 2432 views |  0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Source: Alabama Department of Labor
Source: Alabama Department of Labor
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Calhoun County's unemployment rate grew in October after shrinking in September, state figures released this morning show.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the county's jobless rate increased to 7.4 percent in October from 7.2 percent in September. In contrast, September's unemployment rate was a decrease from the 7.6 percent rate in August. The figures are the first look at the area's labor market since the federal government shutdown.

The county's October jobless rate was still slightly lower than the 7.3 percent rate it had during the same month last year.

The state saw slight increases in its average unemployment rate during September and October. Alabama had a 6.5 percent jobless rate in October, an increase from its 6.4 percent rate in September. The state's August rate was 6.2 percent.

The September statistics were delayed due to the recent federal government shutdown, which Tom Surtees, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor, suggested was partially to blame for the state's rising unemployment rate.

"This is a unique situation in that we have never experienced a reporting period quite like this one," Surtees said in a Friday press release. "Thousands of Alabamians were out of work in October due to the shutdown, which therefore affected our unemployment rate."

The statistics show the county had 100 fewer federal jobs in October compared to September. The county also lost 100 jobs in professional and business services but gained 100 jobs in retail. The county's manufacturing sector stayed steady with 5,700 total jobs between September and October.

The Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates in October were Shelby County at 4.3 percent, Lee County at 5.1 percent and Cherokee County at 5.4 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates in October were Wilcox County at 15.5 percent, Bullock County at 13.2 percent and Dallas County at 13 percent.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates in September were Shelby County at 4.4 percent, Lee County at 5 percent and Cullman County at 5.4 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates in September were Wilcox County at 15.6 percent, Dallas County at 13.6 percent and Bullock County at 13 percent.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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