Chambers County’s economy reached a major milestone in October according to unemployment reports released by the state Department of Labor last week. The statistics show that the county has achieved its lowest unemployment rate in seven years.
Chambers County’s October unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, the lowest since September of 2007 when it was 5.5 percent.
“We can credit this lower rate to the hard work of many local people and our state partners,” Chambers County Development Authority Executive Director Valerie Gray said. “With recent announcements of Knauf, Norbord, Hantal, KMIN and expansions of local businesses, we anticipate a brighter future for Chambers County.
“Our leaders in LaFayette, Lanett, Valley, Chambers County and our towns all support us at the CCDA and enable us to do our jobs. Our primary goal at the CCDA is to create job opportunities and build wealth within the community.”
The October rate is down from September’s rate of 6.2 percent and from the October 2013 rate of 6.7 percent. Last month’s figure represents 854 unemployed individuals and 13,804 employed. Another promising statistic about the new figures was that the county’s civilian workforce increased from 14,588 to 14,658 from September to October.
In September of this year, Chambers County had 909 unemployed and 13,679 employed, and had 983 unemployed and 13,679 in October of 2013.
“It has not been an easy path for us to follow, but finally we are beginning to see the benefits of our cooperative teamwork,” Gray added. “The CCDA remains committed to its diversification plan and committed to supporting it’s existing businesses.”
Chambers County’s rate was once again favorable compared to surrounding counties. The county ranked 44th in unemployment out of Alabama’s 67 counties, which is above the 2013 average ranking of 32nd.
Lee County was the only neighboring county with a lower rate than Chambers, with a rate of 4.6 percent, ranking 66th in the state. Randolph County posted a 6.3 percent unemployment rate, ranking 36th in the state. Clay County ranked 28th with a 6.6 percent rate; Tallapoosa County was at 6.8 percent, ranking 22nd, Russell County was at 7.3 percent, ranking 17th, and Macon County ranked 14th with a 7.6 percent rate.