County’s jobless claims hold steadyPublished 6:03am Saturday, October 20, 2012
Franklin County’s jobless claims dipped slightly in September, down from 9.5 to 9.2 percent.
The 9.2 percent is the same number reported a year ago as well.
The state unemployment claims dropped from 8.5 to 8.2 percent in September, well below last year’s 8.8 percent.
The county total represents 1,223 unemployed residents.
“More Alabamians are working this month, and that is certainly good news for the state,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.
“We still have a long way to go, and I will continue doing everything I can to put Alabamians back to work.”
“This drop in the unemployment rate is more consistent with what we’ve been seeing over the past few months: unemployment claims going down, fewer WARN notices, and record numbers of available jobs,” Alabama Department of Labor Director Tom Surtees said.
The number of initial unemployment claims dropped by 19% from last year. There were 18,525 initial claims in September, compared to 22,890 last year.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices are required submissions when businesses employing more than 100 are planning a mass layoff or closing. Thus far this year, the state’s Rapid Response unit has received notification of 3,977 layoffs, compared to 14,184 in 2009, the height of the recession. The reduction in these notices indicates that employers are more confident and willing to keep their workforces.
“As far as unemployment compensation goes, nearly every indicator we measure is well below pre-recession levels. Claims data don’t directly impact the unemployment rate, but they do allow us to gauge the frequency with which people are losing their jobs,” Surtees said.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County at 5.2 percent, Coffee County at 6.2 percent, and Lee, Limestone, and Madison Counties at 6.4 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 17.8 percent, Bullock County at 15.4 percent and Dallas County at 15.1 percent.
In northwest Alabama, Lauderdale County is at 6.9 percent, Colbert County at 7.9 percent, Lawrence County at 8.2 percent, Winston County at 9.8 percent and Marion County at 9.1 percent.