According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the county’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent in December from 6.9 percent in November. However, the department’s data shows the county’s total civilian labor force dropped to 53,496 from 53,757 between December and November, a decrease of 261 people. Also, the number of employed residents dropped to 49,893 from 50,041 during the same timeframe, a difference of 148 people.
Both figures indicate that residents left the workforce and were not counted in the statistics, resulting in a lower unemployment rate.
The county’s unemployment rate for December was still better than during the same month last year. Last December, the county had a 7.9 percent unemployment rate and 1,171 fewer people working.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s average unemployment rate decreased to 7.1 percent in December from 7.5 percent in November due to a gain of about 7,889 jobs.
“We are encouraged to see our unemployment rate drop once again,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a Friday press release. “Still, we must remember that many people are looking for work. Job creation remains my number-one priority, and I will continue working every day to bring more jobs to Alabama.”
Shelby County had the lowest December unemployment rate at 4.6 percent while Wilcox County had the highest rate at 15.1 percent.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.