The Alabama Department of Labor released preliminary unemployment figures for the month of August last week, and Chambers County’s rate was the lowest it’s been since May of this year. The rate fell more than a half percentage point to 7.1 percent compared to 7.9 percent in July.
Unemployment fell throughout the state and only two of Alabama’s 67 counties didn’t see a decrease. Chambers County’s rate was only slightly higher than the statewide rate of 6.9 percent.
The August rate in the county represents 1,052 unemployed individuals compared to 1,178 in July. The rate is also favorable to August 2013 when there were 1,121 unemployed and the rate was 7.5 percent.
The number of employed individuals in Chambers County in August actually decreased slightly compared to July, but that was due to a decline in the civilian labor force. The county’s civilian labor force in August was 14,720 compared to 14,866 in July. The number of employed last month was 13,668 compared to 13,688 in July. In August of 2013 Chambers County had a civilian labor force of 14,904 individuals and employment was at 13,783.
Chambers County’s rate was once again favorable compared to surrounding counties. The county ranked 43rd in unemployment out of Alabama’s 67 counties in August, above the 2013 average ranking of 32nd. Chambers was ranked 40th in July.
Lee County was the only neighboring county with a higher rate than Chambers, with a rate of 5.8 percent, ranking 64th in the state. Randolph County posted a 7.5 percent unemployment, ranking 37th in the state. Tallapoosa County ranked 25th with an 8.3 percent rate; Clay County was at 8.3 percent, ranking 27th; Macon County was at 9.4 percent, ranking 13th, and Russell County ranked 19th with an 8.9 percent rate.
The state rate of 6.9 percent is down from July’s rate of 7.0 percent. August’s rate represents 147,346 unemployed persons, compared to 148,652 in July.