By Alton Mitchell
The Alabama Department of Labor released its preliminary statewide data for unemployment rates across the state. The news in Chambers County shows that the county has showed an uptick in unemployment numbers in the month of October and the state of Alabama as a whole.
In the month of September Chambers County reported an unemployment rate of 5.1%. In the month of October data shows that there has been an upswing in the county’s unemployment numbers making it one of the largest increases of the year in the county. Data shows that Chambers County’s unemployment increased from 5.1% to 5.6% in October.
Those numbers signify 872 people in the county who were out of work in the month of October. The previous month of September showed only 790 people in Chambers County were out of work. The rate of 5.6% unemployment was also recorded for the same period last year in October of 2015 when Chambers County saw 841 people out of work in the county.
Chambers County numbers still remain below the state unemployment average for October which also saw an increase rising to 5.7% from 5.4% in September. Alabama and Chambers County find themselves above the national average which is reported at 4.9% for the month of October.
Several County’s across the area also saw increase in their unemployment numbers as well. Nearby Lee County usually carries one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state saw a rise in October to 5.1% from 4.8%. Randolph County to the north of Chambers County rose from 5.1% to 5.9% in October. Neighboring Tallapoosa County saw increases as well rising to 5.8% from it 5.1% in September.
The rise is seen statewide as Shelby County south of Birmingham usually carries one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state saw an increase of 4.5% from 4.1%. Shelby County despite the increase still had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Wilcox County located to the west of Montgomery usually carries one of the highest rates in the state of Alabama and the month of October was no different as Wilcox County held the highest unemployment rate in the state at 13.8%. That number was an increase of .4% over the September unemployment rate of 13.4%.
Much of 2016 has shown decreases in unemployment rates across Chambers County as well as Alabama. However the past two months have shown slight increases in Chambers County unemployment numbers. Data may show decreases in the next couple months as employers have begun to pick up for holiday hiring.