Jobless rate increases

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday that the unemployment rate in Alabama remained at 6 percent in June, no different than May’s unemployment rate.

However, Pike County’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.2 percent in May to 7.6 percent in June, an increase of over 200 people unemployed.

Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Economic Development Center, said that difference is caused by the fact that the state rate is seasonally adjusted while county rates are not.

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“Seasonal adjustment adjusts for certain times during the year when temporary workers look for jobs, such as students do when they are out of school,” Gaylard said. “Another example is when farmers need laborers to harvest their crops.  Anytime there is a large number of people that have applied for jobs but haven’t yet gotten one the unemployment rate will naturally go up.”

The total number of civilians that are considered a part of the labor force in Pike County increased 177 from May for a total workforce of 15,320. This could, as Gaylard said, be representative of students entering the workforce that had applied for jobs but had not yet been employed. However, total employment did fall from May to June in the county, from 14,211 to 14,162.

In total, the state reported 130,439 unemployed people. The state says employment actually rose by 34,000 people in June, but was not enough to lower the rate.

The unemployment rate is slightly down from 6.1 percent last June, but is a full percent over the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.