By Alton Mitchell
The Chambers County job market continues to show sign of positive progress despite a minor rise in unemployment numbers in the month of October, the county remains one of the lowest in the state and new projects in the county are set to increase employment opportunities in the county in the future.
The Alabama Department of Labor has reported that the unemployment rate for Chambers County in the month of October was 3.4%. That estimate is up from 3.3% the month before, but remained lower than one year ago when Chambers County had an unemployment rate of 5.8%.
Chambers County unemployment rate was less than a percent higher than the lowest unemployment rate in the state which was in the Birmingham suburb of Shelby County. The County routinely has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state as well as one of the highest per capita incomes in the state.
The largely rural and isolated Wilcox County in west Alabama has carried the states highest unemployment rate in most months of 2017 and that trend held true in October. Wilcox County reported the highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.9%.
Job growth is on the horizon across Chambers County as several projects are starting or nearing completion that will help increase the employment force Chambers County. Origis Energy is nearly completion of construction of its LaFayette, Alabama solar plant. Steak n’ Shake in Valley is set to hold a grand opening next week bringing with it new jobs.
A large expansion project has begun in Cusseta. The automotive supplier Leehan America has begun an expansion project at its plant near Interstate 85. The massive automotive company will expand its existing facility by 39,000 additional square feet. Construction crews are on site working on the project. There is no word on how many additional jobs may be created by the expansion.