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Unemployment nosedives


By Alton Mitchell

As ground moves at the massive new solar farm being built on the south end of LaFayette similar growth and progress are driving Chambers County’s unemployment numbers in a positive direction. As early data has been released by the Alabama Department of Labor the latest estimates show Chambers County is among the lowest rates in the state.

In the month of August Chambers County reported and unemployment rate of 4.1%. However, in the month of September that number was cut by nearly a full point as the unemployment rate fell to 3.3%, one of the lowest rates seen in years for the region. The 3.3% unemployment rate was significantly more positive than the same time last year when Chambers County saw an unemployment rate of 5.6%.

In September Chambers County had a civilian workforce of 15,391. Out of the more than 15,000 workers in the county only 505 residents found themselves out of work county-wide. That number was down from 627 unemployed residents in the month of August and 846 one year ago.

Nearby counties also saw a decrease in unemployment numbers. Neighboring Lee County had one of the regions lower rates at 2.9% in the month of September. While Randolph County found itself slightly higher than Chambers County at 3.4%. The lowest rate reported in the state was in Shelby County near Birmingham at 2.4%. The highest was Wilcox County west of Montgomery with an unemployment rate of 8.9% Both of those counties saw decreases from August numbers.