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Tallapoosa County unemployment drops

Published 11:22am Friday, October 22, 2010

Tallapoosa County’s unemployment rate fell another tenth of a percent in September, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The county’s unemployment rate stands at 12 percent, which represents 2,124 people. In August, only eight fewer people had jobs, but the overall employment increased by 30 employees to 15,548. The civilian labor force also increased by 21 workers to 17,762.

The numbers are much better than last year at this time when the jobless rate was 13.6 percent and 2,393 were without a job.

Coosa County also saw its unemployment rate drop. In September, the jobless rate was 12.1 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percent from August and 2.1 percent from September 2009.

Statewide, the jobless rate also fell by 0.3 percent to 8.9 percent for September. Last year, the rate was 10.7 percent.

The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at or below this level was February 2009, when the rate was 8.7 percent.

September’s rate represents 188,644 unemployed persons, down from 192,539 in August, and 224,486 in September 2009.

“This is the fifth month in a row that Alabama has seen a decline in its unemployment rate,” said Surtees. “Once again, our rate is below the national average of 9.6 percent, and we recently had some good news that several of our Metro Areas have experienced some of the largest drops in unemployment in the nation.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that five of the nation’s top 10 metropolitan areas with the biggest declines in unemployment are located in Alabama.

These Metro Areas are: Florence-Muscle Shoals, Decatur, Anniston, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.

“In addition to all this good news, our statistics are looking pretty good, too. Our first time claims are at the lowest point in two years, and our benefit payments are the lowest we’ve seen this year,” Surtees continued.

Initial claims for September were 23,770, compared to 28,403 in September 2009, and 24,174 in September 2008. Benefit payments were $31,558,816 in September, compared to this year’s high of $52,229,706.

Wage and salary employment increased 3,800 over the month with the majority of the upturn resulting from seasonal gains in the educational component of state and local government.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 6.8 percent, Madison County at 7.1 percent, and Coffee County at 7.2 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 20.9 percent, Greene County at 19.9 percent and Dallas County at 17.2 percent.

“Alabama not only has an unemployment rate that is lower than the national rate, but our unemployment rate is falling faster than any other state. In just five months, unemployment in Alabama has fallen by 2.1 percentage points. This sharp decline is a positive sign our economy is getting back on track and Alabama is headed in the right direction,” said Gov. Bob Riley.

The national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.

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