By Alton Mitchell
The Alabama Department of Labor released its latest unemployment estimates on last Friday. The estimates show the latest unemployment data for the state of Alabama and its counties to include Chambers County. The latest estimates show that Chambers County took a step down in preliminary unemployment estimates for the month of July, a positive note from the previous month when the County saw an increase.
Chambers County has not yet returned to figures the region saw in the month on May when the county saw the lowest unemployment rates of 2017 at 3.7%. In the month of June, the County swung a full point up and reported a rate of 4.7%. Estimates released by the Alabama Department of Labor show in July Chambers County added 27 jobs to its labor force.
According to the preliminary data released last Friday Chambers County has a present unemployment rate of 4.5% for the month of July. That number is in line with state averages which were reported at 4.5% statewide for the month of July. Chambers County shows that in the month of July there were 686 residents without work, but actively seeking employment. That figure is down from 713 residents in the previous month.
Through the majority of 2017 Chambers County has showed declines in the unemployment rate each month with the exception of the month of June. The year started out with a 6.6% unemployment rate being reported in Chambers County. As February rolled in that number took a one percent drop to 5.6%. The numbers have continually decreased each month through May when the year low of 3.7% was reported. However, in June things took an upswing and a rise was reported not just in Chambers County, but statewide.
Regionally Chambers County sits towards the low point of the unemployment scale. Neighboring Lee County has the lowest local unemployment rate at 4.3% in July. The figures in Lee County are down from 4.6% the previous month. Randolph County to the north is slightly higher than Chambers County at 5.3%. Randolph County reported an increase in its unemployment from June to July. The previous months figure was reported at 5.1%.
Residents in neighboring Tallapoosa County also recorded an increase in their unemployment figures for the month of July. The County reported a rate of 4.9% according to the Alabama Department of Labor. The 4.9% rate is up from 4.6% the previous month.
The Birmingham suburb of Shelby County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.5% for the month of July. Wilcox County to the west of Montgomery has maintained one of the highest unemployment rate in the state for much of 2017. The figures in Wilcox County increased between the months of June and July to a rate of 13.5%. That estimate is up from 13.4% in the month of June and the county’s year low in May at 10.9%.