Archived Story

Tallapoosa County jobless numbers move to 8.5 percent

Published 7:23pm Monday, March 17, 2014

The year’s first snapshot of the job market did not paint a rosy picture for Tallapoosa County, as the area’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent while the statewide rate held steady at 6.1.

The Department of Labor released its first unemployment numbers of 2014 Monday, finding that unemployment increased in January to 8.5 percent from the 7.2 percent level in December 2013. The county rate represents 1,455 unemployed residents, more than 200 higher than the previous month and also above the January 2013 level.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from December’s 6.1 percent finding. State Labor Director Tom Surtees noted the improvement compared to the 6.7 percent finding in January 2013.

“Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers, we saw growth in both the labor force and the number of people working in Alabama in January, and those are positive signs,” Surtees said, pointing to a surge in job postings on the state’s JobLink website. “Although the number of jobs reported decreased, this is a common occurrence in January.”

He attributed the dip in overall employment “in large part to retailers laying off seasonal help.”

The level of active job orders at JobLink, at 21,315, was a record in the free online database’s nine-year history.

Counties with lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Lee County at 5.5 and Limestone and Cullman Counties at 5.8. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 16.4 percent, Perry County at 13.2, and Bullock County at 12.7 percent.

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