Pike County sees increase in unemployment rate

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pike County’s unemployment rate saw a one percent increase from 6.4 percent to an astounding 7.4 percent in June.

Pike County’s civilian labor force increased from 15,103 to 15,221 between May a June, registering more than 300 more people in the workforce than in June 2014.

At the same time, the county’s number of unemployed residents jumped almost 200 people from 965 in May to 1,133 in June.

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Public Information Specialist Will Whatley with the Alabama Department of Labor said seasonal rises in the unemployment rate is typically, especially with college-geared towns.

“In June, it’s typical,” Whatley said. “We see it a lot of people with schools, and people associated with schools will file for unemployment or they will say they’re unemployed. Typically, this is the affect where you have a lot of school-affiliated workers who don’t have a job.”

Whatley said that currently there are more people who aren’t employed and are filing for unemployment, but when falls comeback around they would likely not file.

“The civilian labor force typically stays the same, but you just have more people at the time who aren’t employed,” Whatley said. “When fall comes back around they’ll be employed again…With Troy being there it does have an affect as far educators go or education employees.”

Comparable Coffee County also saw an increase in its unemployment rate, rising from 6 percent to 6.4 percent. The county’s labor force also increased from 20,299 to 20,393 causing a jump in the number of unemployed people in the county, which increased almost 100 from 1,213 to 1,311.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s office announced last Friday that the state’s unemployment rate neither increased nor decreased from May’s seasonal adjusted percentage of 6.1.

While a decrease in the unemployment rate is always desired, Bentley said an unchanged percentage was just as welcome as the state had seen increases in other areas.

“Even though our unemployment rate remained unchanged this month, we are pleased that since January 2011, our month-over-month growth in wage and salary employment, a trend that began in January 2011, continues,” Bentley said. “Today, there are almost 75,000 more jobs in Alabama than there were in June 2011. This good news for Alabamians who are looking to find a job.”

For the year as a whole, the wage and salary numbers have increased by 23,600 to a total of 1,952,800; however, June saw a decrease of 1,900 for wage and salary employment. The construction sector saw an increase of 2,300 plus for wage and salary employment while the manufacturing sector reported an 800 plus increase. The leisure and hospitality sector also reported a 1,600 plus increase.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said the unemployment rate and wage and salary employment trends for June continued to echo what the Department of Labor saw last month.

“It is not uncommon to see unemployment rise or remain steady during the summer months, usually as a result of an increase in the labor force as students and graduates search for work, and teachers and other school employees are not employed.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates included Shelby County, which reported a 4.6 percent unemployment rate; Elmore County, which reported a 5.4 percent unemployment rate and Baldwin County, which reported a 5.5 percent unemployment rate. All of Alabama’s 67 counties reported lower unemployment rates than a year ago.